Smart Home Device Calls Police During Domestic Violence Dispute

"The unexpected use of this new technology to contact emergency services has possibly helped save a life."

Though some people are reticent to embrace today's ever-evolving technology, one woman in New Mexico is likely very thankful for her smart home device following a scary altercation last week.

According to ABC News, a man named Eduardo Barros was house-sitting near Albuquerque with his girlfriend and her daughter on July 2, when a disagreement between the couple turned violent.

Bernalillo County Sheriff Department's spokesperson — Deputy Felicia Romero — tells the outlet Barros allegedly had a firearm in his possession and threatened to kill his girlfriend. When he asked her, "Did you call the sheriffs?" a smart speaker located in the home interpreted the question as a request and called emergency services.

Mashable notes the smart home device credited for putting an end to a potentially tragic situation was first reported to be a Google Home, but the exact make and model of the device remains unclear at this time. 

Regardless, when the police arrived, they were able to rescue the mother and daughter from the house.

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

"We're thankful 911 got called, no matter how it got called," Romero told The Albuquerque Journal.

Per CNBC, a 2016 report from IHS Markit found 80 million smart home devices were delivered worldwide, a 64 percent increase from 2015. That figure includes Nest thermostats and smoke detectors, August smart locks and Ring video doorbells, but a big chunk of it was personal home assistants like Google Home, Bosch's Mykie, and Amazon's Alexa, all of which have the ability to provide crucial data if and when needed.

As Mashable points out, an Amazon Echo device was involved in a murder case last year, though it's unclear whether the Echo actually recorded any relevant information.

Cover image via Shutterstock.

More From A Plus


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.