Home / Gadgets / The Away Mode Alexa app is a humorous attempt to stop burglars

The Away Mode Alexa app is a humorous attempt to stop burglars

Image: Mark Lennihan/AP/REX/Shutterstock

You can get smart lights and plugs to simulate you being home when you’re out, but that costs a lot of money.

The fix? If you have an Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled speaker this new “Away Mode” skill by Hippo might be the saving grace that doesn’t break the bank. 

It goes a step further than a security system sign in the front yard. “Away Mode” plays conversations, recorded with real-life people — no AI-simulated voices here, folks. This is undoubtedly a lighter and more humorous approach to deterrence, as these conversations are awkward. 

Seven tracks are included at launch, ranging from a stay-at-home mom going insane to a couple breaking up while watching some TV. These titles echo a comedy sketch from Saturday Night Live or Conan, and rightfully so. All of these scenarios are from SNL, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and UCB writers. 

Image: Away mode by hippo

Each of the tracks all come it at around an hour long, so this skill won’t be a substitute for a week’s vacation but rather a quick errand or two. The theory behind these seems all right, as conversations could trick a burglar into thinking that someone is home when no one is. The description on the Away Mode website and Amazon page don’t promise results, but the developer is Hippo.

A 21st century take on home insurance, and it seems like while this a stunt for some free advertising, it is a funny one that delivers what could prove to be a useful skill. 

The reviews are mixed as well, noting that it is hit or miss at times. Either way, this is certainly a creative and funny skill. If you don’t have an Alexa-enabled speaker to install it on, Hippo’s site has snippets of all seven tracks.

Fingers crossed that Hippo will be drumming up some more tracks soon.

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