Smart device makes domestic violence call in New Mexico

This March 2, 2016 photo shows an Echo Dot in San Francisco. Amazon.com is introducing two devices, the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, that are designed to amplify the role that its voice-controlled assistant Alexa plays in people’s homes and lives. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

TIJERAS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities say they were alerted to a potentially deadly domestic violence situation thanks to voice-activated smart technology.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office detailed the case Monday, saying a woman had been threatened and hit in the face with a handgun.

Deputies believe a voice-activated smart device triggered a 911 call after the suspect asked the woman if she had called the sheriff.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Deputy Felicia Romero said the woman can be heard saying in the 911 recording: “Alexa, call 911.” But Romero acknowledged that she’s not sure what device might have been used.

Amazon recently began offering a calling and messaging service but only between Echo and Alexa app users. Google announced in May its own hands-free calling feature, but it’s not available yet.