Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has unveiled a new feature that will make Alexa devices more useful to seniors. The company launched an added option to the Alexa mobile app called “Care Hub” which enables family members to keep tabs on their aging parents and loved ones.
Alexa to help in monitoring activities of aging family members
The company indicated that for years it has heard from customers that have wanted to use Alexa’s voice assistant to monitor their aging relatives that want to stay at their residences rather than nursing homes. Amazon is moving to offer the possibility of monitoring loved ones with their permission where one can receive information regarding their activities and receive alerts once they call for help. According to the company, the idea behind the “Care Hub” is to offer reassurance for those concerned about the wellbeing of their aging family members while at the same time allowing them to maintain independence.
It is important to note that this will not be a novel use of the voice assistant considering Alexa devices are already in use in care facilities and senior living centres through third party providers. The company said that although family members will keep an eye on their aging loved ones, privacy will be critical, and some specific information will not be accessible.
The new product offers “call for help” feature
Toni Reid the Alexa Experiences and Echo Devices VP, said that there is an emergency contact feature which will allow one to call for help. By simply saying “Alexa, call for help” the assistant will send a push notification to a caregiver. After the connection has been established, the care recipient will go on with their daily activities, and this gives caregivers peace of mind. Reid said that this is the beginning of the journey of helping seniors, and there is a lot the company is looking to do to assists seniors.
Amazon has been working on the product in the last 18 months. It has been piloting it with its employees and their relatives in recent months.