Saturday, September 2, 2017

Alexa Addresses Senior Issues

Probably no computer technology has as much to offer seniors as voice computing, such as the Amazon Echo, known best as Alexa.   The cost is about $50  for an Echo Dot.   You do need WiFi.

Voice computers address many issues faced by seniors.      These include limited mobility, vision problems,  trouble with typing,  and even hearing loss.

There is no need to go to the computer to do work.     There is no need to use a keyboard.    There is no need to use a screen.     Sound volume is easily raised with a simple voice command.

As an emergency alert to call for help,  it is possible to do a voice phone call when incapacitated away from the phone.     That benefit makes it desirable even if you already have an alert of another type.    The cost is so low that it is worthwhile to have both alerts.  Each has its pros and cons.

Voice calls by Alexa make it possible to converse without anyone being there at a phone and by groups at both ends.

It is also possible to listen in and check on someone from elsewhere.

Inaccessible switches, such as for lights, are no longer inaccessible, once remote switches are added, about $30 each.

Voice operated switches are also a special benefit to those nearly blind.   Broadcasts and music are accessed by voice only.

Reminders and alerts are entered with a voice command and accessed by voice or time, such as as taking pills.

Event calendars and  to-do lists can be similarly maintained strictly by voice.

Alexa has the ability to read books aloud from selected sources.

Control of thermostats by voice is handy when It is not easy to get to them.   These cost $250 or so.

Recently, even control of TV is now available by voice.

From the very beginning it has been possible to order items by Alexa  and check on them just by asking “where's my stuff.”

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