What you need to know
- Amazon launches new Care Hub feature for Alexa-enabled devices.
- Care providers have access to loved ones' activity throughout the day.
- Users can get started with Care Hub today by connecting their Alexa accounts.
As a result of the ongoing global pandemic, its become more difficult to spend time with loved ones. This can be harder for the older generation, who are more vulnerable and disproportionately affected by exposure to Covid-19. This makes something like virtual care a staple for many who want to keep tabs on their loved ones. Amazon is looking to help fill the void, and today announced a new remote caregiving feature for Alexa called Care Hub.
At its core, the new feature is meant to create a direct connection between the person providing care and their aging loved ones. Family members will be able to get alerts and monitor their activity feed through the Alexa app. They can also set customized notifications, such as when activity starts or when there's a lack of activity. And whenever there's concern, simply tap to call or "drop in" on their loved one.
Amazon is betting on the ease of use for voice assistance making it ideal for aging customers. Being able to tell Alexa to turn on lights or play music makes it easy to incorporate into our daily lives, especially for users with mobility problems. Thus, activity feed is mainly contingent on the continued use of Alexa throughout the day. And of course Amazon has privacy in mind, meaning loved ones can view, hear, and delete voice recordings simply by telling Alexa. There's also a limit what the family can see in activity feed. Activities are shown by category, so specifics like a song title, for example, will not be shown. Amazon describes it as "see how they're doing, not what they're doing."
Amazon employees have taken part in the program and provided feedback to help improve it:
Customers can get started with Care Hub by connect two Alexa accounts; elderly loved ones need an Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled device, while the family member or person providing assistance only needs the app. Once the invitation is sent and accepted from the loved one, the accounts are connected and the family member immediately becomes an emergency contact. The loved one would simply have to say "Alexa, call for help" and the family member will be contacted.
User can get started today (opens in new tab). For now, Care Hub is only available in the U.S. with no word on expanding to other countries or regions.
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
What you really need to know: I bought two of the newest Dots to put in my father in law's house. He's 95 and we thought this would be a great thing for him and for us. However! He's 95! He has no email and NO Amazon account and in order to use the Care Hub, he has to have an email (that's working, that he can check) and an Amazon account! What good does this do? And I imagine he's not alone in not having either the email or Amazon account. So either the Care Hub developers don't have really elderly loved ones or they just didn't bother to take this into account. There needs to be a way to turn on the Care Hub for specific devices. NOT to have an elderly person have to create an Amazon account then send out emails to invite people to participate in the Care Hub. The whole sign up process just sucks. And there's no way to actually get to the Care Hub department or any of the developers who designed this gawd awful procedure to use it!
Just do it for him. Then you have access to everything and he has the dots for you to both use. Not very difficult to work around.
What is so hard for the caregiver to create the accounts needed for the service to work?
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