Blog: Internet Of Things

BMW integrates Alexa / Echo. Did I read that right?!

Ken Munro 16 Dec 2016

jackbeamerwide

We’ve been playing with the Amazon Echo Dot for a few weeks now. It uses the Alexa voice service to do a whole of bunch of stuff. Our ‘research’ was mostly us shouting at it to see what it can cope with, but then we started looking at what it can interact with.

I was initially looking at the August smart door lock, which we had shipped in from the USA.

augustlock

It also supports Alexa for commands such as ‘lock’ however the vendor currently states:

augustunlock

Are they having a laugh? Echo can pick up voice from a distance without training, so it wouldn’t be tough to have it hear you from outside a locked house.

‘Unlock door’ would not be a wise function to enable at a later stage.

Clearly August have thought through the consequences of voice control. Smart vendor!

But then I found that BMW announced similar Alexa integration

Here’s the press release: https://news.bmw.co.uk/article/bmw-connected-integration-with-alexa/

And here’s the updated app in the Appstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bmw-connected-north-america/id1087277146?mt=8

appstorebmwunlock

Yes, you read that right. Unlock your BMW using Alexa.

Now, in fairness I haven’t got a BMW to try this out on, so I haven’t proved that it’s an issue. If anyone can, please let me know, that would be awesome- hit me up on Twitter @TheKenMunroShow.

Picture this: Your smart new Beamer is on the driveway outside your house. Thief walks round side of house or opens letterbox. Says ‘unlock BMW’ and then gets into your car.

I sincerely hope that BMW have thought this through. Someone please tell me that Connected Drive + Alexa doesn’t permit ‘unlock’.