How does a new skill for Amazon’s Alexa hope to deter burglars?

Answer: By playing realistic, and ridiculous, conversations.

by / August 6, 2018

This isn’t the first time that the smart home assistant has gotten a skill for deterring potential burglars, but it is perhaps the most entertaining option so far. Thought up by Hippo Insurance, a startup for homeowners’ insurance, the new skill “Away Mode” will play one of seven hour-long audio recordings of realistic and ridiculous conversations.

The recordings were written by comedy writers from Saturday Night Live, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Upright Citizens Brigade. Topics include “Couple Has Breakup While Also Trying to Watch TV,” “Two Average Guys Brainstorm What’s Unique About Themselves So They Can Start a Podcast About It;” there is also an angry stay-at-home mom and a fight over a board game.

Hippo Insurance told TechCrunch that the idea was to deter intruders by making them believe “that someone is still at home who is absolutely insufferable.”