Assistive technology review: the Amazon Echo Show
Alex Lena | Independent Living Consultant
Most individuals strive to be as independent as possible. This is true for individuals both with and without disabilities. However, it can be difficult for those caring for an individual with a disability to allow them to be as independent as possible due to being nervous or scared about their well-being, especially if they wish to live on their own. While these feelings are valid and may never fully go away, there are some pieces of technology that can help in reducing some of these feelings. Also, there is technology to support that individual with the disability to be as independent as possible.
One piece of technology is the Amazon Echo Show. There are a number of features that can support an individual with a disability as well as give some peace of mind to family members and loved ones. With an Echo Show, an individual with a disability can use it to set alarms for getting up in the morning, set reminders for tasks such as taking medicine, they can check the weather so they can choose appropriate seasonal clothing for the day, ask questions about sporting events, if stores are open, etc.
There is also a feature called “show and tell”. This allows an individual with vision loss to ask “Alexa, what am I holding?”. The Show will use the front facing camera to take a picture of what the person is holding. If it is able to identify the item, the Show will speak the name of the item. The Show will also give audible ques to help the individual get the item in frame. This works well if someone is having difficulties identifying ingredients for cooking (canned/boxed foods, etc.).
Another feature is called “drop-in”. This allows a family member to check-in with someone to see how things are going. As long as the device within the home has this feature turned on, a family member/loved one can use their Amazon app to drop-in. This does not require someone answering a call so it can be helpful if someone struggles using the phone or if they take a long time to get to a phone. This can offer some peace of mind to family members and loved ones without needing them to drive over to the individual’s home every day. The Echo Show can also be more cost effective than a whole home monitoring system.
There are more Echo Show features that can assist an individual with a disability to become and/or remain as independent as possible. If you are interested in seeing this device in action or want to learn more about it and its features, please contact us and ask to speak to an Independent Living Consultant.