California fires: smart speakers and emergency alerts

Marshall Eubanks marshall.eubanks at
Wed Aug 1 17:11:44 UTC 2018

At a recent meeting on space policy a representative from Hughes/Echostar
told us that, as they provide satellite connectivity to gas stations in the
fire regions, they have
been working with emergency services to give fire fighters directions to
where they can go to get gas for their trucks, based on their knowledge of
which stations are up and have not been sold out.

Putting alerts (whether by landline or satellite) on screens at the pumps
or in convenience stores does not seem like much of a stretch, but I can't
see any indication that this is being done.


On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 4:59 PM, Sean Donelan <sean at> 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.
> Although most silicon valley tech nerds are still in the "invincible"
> years, were the california fires close enough to silicon valley that smart
> speaker developers might think an emergency could affect them.  And an
> emergency alert capability in their smart speakers might be important?

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