California fires: smart speakers and emergency alerts

Andreas Ott andreas at
Fri Oct 13 23:24:49 CST 2017

On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 04:59:17PM -0400, Sean Donelan wrote:
> Has anyone heard if the smart speaker companies (Amazon Echo, Google Home) 
> plan to include emergency alert capability?  An estimate 10% of households 
> own a smart speaker, and Gartner (well-known for its forecasting 
> accuracy) predicts 75% of US households will have a smart speaker by 2020.

How is geolocation achieved on these in-home devices? Is that tied to
the ~80% accuracy of general purpose IP geolocation? Do they have GPS?
Or is this done via account data in case it contains a street location?

This is different from alerts to cellphones "tethered" to a tower where
you get a better location info, even for E911 (exclude corner cases
where you are on a "mountain" top overlooking silicon Valley and lock
onto a tower further away). There you are effectively sending the alert
to the tower at a certain location and it multicasts it out to the phones
that are attached to it.


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