Smart speakers and emergency management: the present and the future

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Smart speakers have exploded on the scene over the last few years, the most notable of which is commonly addressed as “Alexa”, from Amazon. 

Although most people use them as fancy radios, they’re actually capable of an enormous range of tasks, from turning on your lights to controlling your microwave. 

And smart speakers have important implications for emergency managers and other public safety officials. One of those is AlertSmart™, the newest feature of the Hyper-Reach emergency notification system. AlertSmart allows emergency managers to deliver mass notifications over Alexa-enabled smart speakers, tapping into the roughly 90 million households who have one or more of these devices. 

That 90 million figure, by the way, will grow dramatically over time. Alexa and its competitors are being built into cars, thermostats, home security, and even lawn watering systems. 

We think that smart speakers offer an important advance for mass notification systems. But we also think that they have other promising applications for emergency managers, with many uses for collecting and distributing information, taking 911 calls, finding people who need help and more. They could even be used for turning on and off local resources, such as fire suppression systems. 

We’ve written a white paper that goes into all of this in a lot more depth.  And you can get that here.

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