Albeit creepy and not exactly preferred, it is incredible that a smart speaker potentially saved someone’s life.
While there’s something disconcerting about having Big Brother listening in on family feuds, there is something to be said about smart devices alerting the police when simple arguments turn into domestic disputes. The latter is what occurred at a resident in New Mexico earlier this week, and authorities believe it may have played a life-saving role.
ABC News reports that Eduardo Barros was house-sitting with his girlfriend and her daughter on Sunday in Tijeras when the couple got into an argument and the altercation turned physical. According to Bernalillo County Sheriff Department’s spokesperson, Deputy Felicia Romero, Barros wielded a firearm and threatened to kill his girlfriend. A nearby smart speaker, which was hooked up to a surround sound system, recorded him saying: “Did you call the sheriffs?” Because the smart speaker recognized it as a command, it then called 911.
Not long after the call was made, deputies arrived at the scene and removed the woman and her daughter from the residence. The woman reportedly sustained injuries from the argument but was not taken to the hospital. Romero told the press that the woman’s daughter was not injured. A SWAT team was also deployed to the home where Barros was taken into custody after an hours-long stand-off.
“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.
Barros is now facing charges of possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, aggravated battery against a household member, aggravated assault against a household member and false imprisonment, according to court documents. This was determined after Barros appeared in court and a judge determined there was probable cause for his arrest. Barros will be held without bond until a hearing date is set for him and is presently being represented by a public defender. He has not yet entered a plea, says the court.