Amazon’s line of smart speakers is a sensation for a good reason–the technology reinvents how we use smart devices. With virtual assistants becoming a household staple, having the latest gadgets isn’t just for computer fanatics anymore. Many modern devices, like the Amazon Echo, are meant for anyone to use and appreciate.
These smart speakers do so much more than play music or phone calls. With the incorporation of Alexa, the Amazon Echo offers a new experience that anyone–old or new—can benefit from.
Let’s examine how seniors can use an Amazon Echo and Alexa.
What Is an Amazon Echo?
An Amazon Echo is a smart speaker featuring built-in artificial intelligence. Alexa allows users to navigate the technology through voice commands. In addition to acting as a traditional audio-playing speaker, these speakers connect to the internet and other compatible devices to offer other exciting features.
An Amazon Echo lets you interact with the device without having to lift a finger. The speakers are perfect when you need someone to read a recipe while you cook or turn off your smart lights without getting out of bed. While it may sound pretty advanced, the device is definitely easy to use.
Can Seniors Use Alexa?
Using an Amazon Echo requires minimal skill level at all. You don’t need to be a programmer to learn how to use Alexa. The whole point of a virtual assistant is that you feel like you are talking to another person. While it’s not perfect, Alexa is a fantastic program that operates by having a simple conversation.
Once the device is set up, you’ll be able to call out for the Echo device to start listening and speak a request.
Beyond some easy setup that may require some help, it’s just like asking someone to do something for you. This makes it the perfect device for seniors who have difficulties navigating computer interfaces or reading the small text on screens.
What Can Amazon Echo Do?
As we highlighted earlier, the Amazon Echo does so much more than a regular speaker. Alexa allows people to use their smart speakers using voice commands. There are many different tasks someone may request Alexa to perform. Here are some examples.
Reading Digital Content
Alexa can read different text out loud so you don’t need to stare at a screen. There are many things it may read depending on your mood. Alexa may read out recipes, books, internet articles, or even the news.
Reporting Local Weather
In addition to reporting current events, Alexa can also report local weather. It uses saved information and localization technology to know which weather reports are relevant to you.
Setting Alarms, Timers, and Reminders
Not all of the Amazon Echo features require direct interactions. You can different alerts so Alexa will remind you about them. You can set alarms for anything, from wake-up calls and doctor’s appointments to medicine notifications and cooking timers.
Make Calls and Messages
If someone has issues navigating their phone, or a fan of multitasking, an Amazon Echo offers the ultimate solution for hands-free communication. You can make and receive calls through the smart speaker. Users may even dictate text messages to send or have received text messages read to them.
Performing Online Shopping
As an Amazon product, it’s no surprise that the Echo helps users navigate the retail giant. You can do everything from ordering new music to buying toilet paper. Don’t worry, you set it up so there are no accidental purchases.
Have Simple Conversations
While Alexa cannot replace human interaction, it has many fun and entertaining features. Developers wanted interactions with the Amazon Echo devices to feel more human, so they incorporated funny elements everyone can enjoy. At the request of the user, Alexa can tell jokes, stories, or even host games. It’s a great way to pass the time and have a little fun.
Control Compatible Smart Home Devices
If you or a loved one has a smart home, many appliances and devices are compatible with Alexa. Instead of relying on a collection of apps and controls, an Amazon Echo can act as a central hub to control everything. Additionally, Alexa allows for voice control, so someone needs to give a verbal command to do things like turn on the lights.
Be a Calculator
Direct any math-related questions to the Amazon Echo. The device performs math problems, like addition or subtraction, and can even calculate conversions. Never spill flour on your phone again, struggling to look up how many ounces are in a cup.
Math questions aren’t the only thing Alexa can help with. With access to the internet, Amazon Echo allows you to ask any internet questions. Instead of pulling up a search engine, you can simply ask Alexa a question out loud as though you’re speaking with another person. You can even ask for details about local businesses.
Although the Amazon Echo is more than your average speaker, it’s still a speaker. This device can play music, the radio, podcasts, and audiobooks from a wide variety of services.
Do Many Seniors Use an Amazon Echo?
While Amazon Echo devices certainly make life easier, the question of whether or not seniors will use the device is also crucial. There is this stereotype that seniors don’t like technology. This statement isn’t entirely true. The problem with modern technology isn’t that seniors don’t like what they do—it’s just usually too complicated to understand.
With easy voice controls, Amazon Echo devices are an excellent addition to any senior household. The technology is a great way to bridge the gap between confused seniors and modern commodities. Additionally, the smart speakers help with a lot of problems seniors face. Between reading out audiobooks to setting reminders for medication, this is one device they won’t have to rely on their children or grandchildren to regularly explain.
Is an Amazon Echo a Good Gift for Seniors?
The Amazon Echo has reinvented how we navigate modern technology. Many seniors find that Alexa-enabled devices help them use the internet and their smart devices to the fullest without needing to learn new, complicated skills.
They make an excellent gift for anyone looking for an easier way to incorporate smart technology into their everyday lives. And when it’s time to dive into the world of Alexa skills, there is a trio of ways to enable additional features for any Amazon Echo.