Alexa Together image

eCommerce giant Amazon has introduced a new subscription service for its Alexa voice-activated technology called Alexa Together, which acts as a technology-enabled care (TEC) service and remote monitoring platform for users and carers.

Alexa Together is designed to help elderly individuals feel more comfortable and confident living independently, and give their family peace of mind.

Although this service is only available in the US at the moment, it could come to the UK in the future as an affordable and accessible TEC solution for elderly people and carers. In the US, the service is available for $19.99 a month or $199 per year.

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Using Amazon’s Alexa voice command software, people are able to carry out a wide range of activities and commands by solely using their voice. For example, users can play music, ask what the weather is, create a shopping list, or control smart home devices (such as turning on lights, controlling appliances, watching TV, and more).

Now, Alexa Together aims to deliver a helpful TEC service and works when an elderly person and carer sign up. To get started, the elderly individual needs an Alexa Together subscription and a supported Alexa-enabled device, such as an Echo Dot or Echo Show.

One of the service’s key feature’s is that the elderly individual gets 24/7 hands-free access to an Urgent Response professional emergency helpline. During an emergency, they can say, “Alexa, call for help,” to connect with a trained agent who can request the dispatch of police, the fire department, or an ambulance. When Urgent Response is called, Alexa will proactively notify the designated carer so they’re kept in the loop.

In addition, Alexa Together works with third-party devices from Assistive Technology Service (ATS) and Vayyar that can detect when someone has had a fall or needs help, and prompt Alexa to ask if the user wants to call Urgent Response and notify the carer.

Vayyar Care is a contactless, wall-mounted sensor that can identify when a fall has happened, and SkyAngelCare by ATS is a fall-detection pendant that elderly people can wear around their neck. When users press the help button on the SkyAngelCare pendant or Vayyar Care detects a fall, Alexa can receive a signal to ask if the person wants to call Urgent Response.

Alexa Together’s activity feed and custom alerts also help reassure carers that their loved one is up and going about their day, while the elderly individual can have the peace of mind knowing that their family member can easily stay connected. With alerts, family members can get notified every day when their loved one has their first interaction with Alexa or connected smart home devices—or get notified when there is no activity by a certain time, serving as a reminder to stay in touch.

Moreover, Alexa Together includes a Remote Assist feature that the elderly person can choose to enable. If turned on, carers can set up Alexa features from afar and manage select settings directly in their loved one’s account—like setting reminders, adding contacts they can call or message hands-free, adding or checking items off a shopping list, and linking a music service.

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