OT (thankfully): "Smart home device reportedly ends violent dispute by calling 911"
(too old to reply)
2017-07-11 17:54:28 UTC
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Police in New Mexico claim a smart device may have saved a woman’s life when it called local authorities during an alleged assault.

Eduardo Barros, 28, was arrested on July 2 after a standoff with a SWAT team at a home near Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to Deputy Felicia Romero, a spokesperson at Bernalillo County. Authorities say Barros got angry at his girlfriend after she received a text message. He accused her of cheating on him and began hitting and kicking her, then got his gun and threatened to kill her.

Barros then asked, “Did you call the sheriff?” This, according to the police statement, woke an unnamed smart device, which misinterpreted his question as a command and called 911. (Early reports claimed the device was an Amazon Alexa-powered speaker, but Amazon confirmed with the Daily Dot that its speakers are not able to call 911. Google Home, another smart speaker named in reports, is also not yet capable of making calls.)

“When 911 called (the victim’s) phone, Barros saw the caller ID and threw (the victim) to the floor. Barros then kicked her while on the ground at least 10 times in the face and stomach,” the complaint said, according to KTLA.

Fortunately, authorities arrived at the home and were able to remove the woman and her daughter. The woman sustained injuries but did not go to the hospital. Her daughter was unharmed, according to ABC News.

“The unexpected use of this new technology to contact emergency services has possibly helped save a life. This amazing technology definitely helped save a mother and her child from a very violent situation,” Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III said in a statement to ABC News.

Barros is facing 14 charges, including false imprisonment, aggravated battery against a household member, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

The post Smart home device reportedly ends violent dispute by calling 911 appeared first on The Daily Dot.


Some interesting comments:

Robert Marshall · Owner-Chief Instructor at Marshall's ATA Martial Arts
...Either Google or Amazon don't really know the capabilities of their Smart devices or they are not being truthful about what functions these devices are intended and/or capable of performing. The third option is someone actually monitoring the communications of people who are using these devices. In this particular instance the result was a 'happy ending' all things considered. This device helped this poor woman and that is a good thing, but we may be giving up any semblance of privacy for safety and...well...Big Brother is Listening. Is that something we can live with? If it's a voluntary choice perhaps the answer is YES but if monitoring is increasingly forced upon us, the answer is a resounding 'No'. These devices along with their accompanying high definition video/audio companions is truly Orwellian. We won't be able to unring this bell or get the genie back in the bottle once it is free. We'll start with poor people who can't say No with their poitical power and then it will be slowly rolled out for the rest of society and slowly constrict our freedoms. The frog may already be being boiled.

Bob Reed · Colorado Springs, Colorado
Uh..the unnamed device was listening in on their conversation and called the police. According to Google and Amazon neither of their devices can do that. Someone is lying and this has some significant implications. Yes it helped in this situation, but think of the big picture. Our smart devices are spying on us

Robert Marshall · Owner-Chief Instructor at Marshall's ATA Martial Arts
I have already unplugged my smart device some months ago and placed tape over the camera on my computer monitor. I have also turned my mic off on my smart phone. I watched 'Snowden' recently and I truly believe there is room for concern.

Paul Lewis
If the device is unnamed, how do you know it was either of the ones mentioned?

Lee Scott
Robert Marshall It would be a good idea to base your concerns on facts as opposed to a movie (which, even though it is about some real events, is still a dramatized story.)

Thos Harmon
Rob Reed - Both the Amazon and Google devices may be unable to make phone calls in their native configurations, but I can assure you that they can be used to trigger other devices to make phone calls and/or send a text message - even to 911. Although smart devices are not "spying" on us, they are listening to us, waiting for the right combination of words to wake them up and have them do something we have programmed them to do - like dial 911.

Jon Barlow · Managing Director at Self-Employed
Thos Harmon Google has connedctions to Google phone which has its own assigned phone number. You can also go online and sign up for a number anywhere in the U.S. for free. Now why would they offer that-hummmm?

Sarah Ehrett's Lesbian Love Interest
2017-07-12 21:22:34 UTC
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If only my life was exciting enough to eavesdrop on.

These smart devices should be capable to make 911 calls. Seems that would be a selling point.

As these fifty dollar devices become cheaper and more ubiquitous, the ability to summon the police will become just a whisper away, "Alexa call police." Soon, a few hundred dollar investment will allow one to buy a virtual posse eagerly awaiting your next request.

Plus one can sit their two year-old in front of one of these and all questions will be answered. "Why is water wet? Why is Grandma wrinkled? Why is the sky blue?..."

Brave new world.