The Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, or Amazon Dot Can Fill Your Senior Citizen’s Life With Music, Books, Information and Entertainment
Note: since the original penning of this article (11/24/15), Amazon has introduced the Amazon Tap and Amazon Dot. The article was originally written about the first of these devices to hit the market, the Amazon Echo. You will find additional info on the Amazon Ta or Amazon Dot toward the bottom of the post.
My fiance bought me an Amazon Echo device the first year it was introduced – he’s a technology lover so I got one of the first Amazon Echo devices released by Amazon. Boy, was I lucky!
At first, I thought, “Oh great, yet another thing I don’t need.” Obviously, I didn’t know much about the Amazon Echo. Since it was a present, I figured I’d better get used to it being around. Now? I don’t think our living room would be complete without it.
So, what exactly is an the Echo? Well, it’s that tubular device you see to the left there. The Echo stands just 9.27″ tall and is just 3.27″ wide. It comes in either black or white, and it’s the perfect size for a bedside table or a kitchen counter. But, that doesn’t explain what an Amazon Echo does!
When connected to wi-fi (a MUST to use the device), the Echo is designed to be a hands-free voice-recognition device that does all kinds of stuff. The voice recognition starts up when one says ‘Alexa’ (one can change the ‘wake up’ work to Amazon) and then gives a command. My favorite features are things like ‘Alexa, add green beans to my shopping list’ and, boom (!) green beans are added to my Alexa app on my phone under ‘shopping.’
The Amazon Echo is perfect for those with mobility issues, such as those with Parkinson’s. There’s one reviewer on Amazon whose husband is wheelchair-bound. He has the ability to listen to anything he wants, control the lights in the room, even turn on the lights in his wife’s bedroom if she doesn’t hear him calling. To them, the Amazon Echo allows him to have more control over his life. That’s a great thing!
In case you think the Amazon Echo is too evolved for your favorite senior citizen, I would suggest making up an index card with typical commands they would like to use such as:
- Alexa, play Frank Sinatra
Alexa then will start playing songs by Frank Sinatra – your senior friend can even say, Alexa, play the most popular songs of 1940. The choices are endless, especially if you are an Amazon Prime member. Your music library just got huge as you can play any Amazon Prime music.
- Alexa, what is the weather today?
Alexa then will report the weather in the immediate area where it is located.
- Alexa, what day is it?
The Amazon Echo returns the day/date as in ‘It’s Tuesday, November 24th.’
- Alexa, what is on my schedule today?
As long as your senior citizen friend has their calendar linked in the Alexa app, Alexa will read out their schedule.
- Alexa, wake me in 30 minutes.
Results: The Amazon Echo will sound an alarm in 30 minutes. The Echo volume can be set up very high if your loved one is hearing impaired.
- Alexa, what is in my news feed?
I few minutes of setting up the news feed and they’re good to go. Every day, your senior friend will be kept up with current events with just a few words spoken to Alexa.
Alexa is also a wealth of information, period. Your senior citizen friend can ask things like ‘When was Milton Berle’s birthdate’ or ‘Alexa, read me today’s news’ (there is a ‘flash briefing’ that you can set up for your senior citizen friend which can read things like NPR news, etc).
And, the ability to set multiple alarms means that your elderly loved one need never miss medication again. That alone is worth the sale price.
Along with that shiny new Amazon Echo, I’d suggest purchasing a simple book to explain how to use the device to its fullest. The best book I’ve found for uncovering all kinds of stuff I wouldn’t even had thought about is the Amazon Echo – User Guide & Manual – Hangout with Amazon (the link is below).
There’s new features being added to the Amazon Echo almost daily. Additionally, the volume at the highest setting is mind boggling. Even your most hearing-challenged senior citizen friend will be able to hear an audio book being read from dear Alexa.
The Amazon Echo
So here’s the actual Amazon Echo. As you can see, there’s no visible buttons to confuse even those with Alzheimer’s. A voice controlled unit just makes sense for the elderly, if you ask me. I wish the Amazon Echo had been around when I was caring for my own elderly Mom. She would have loved it!
Amazon Echo Extras
The Amazon Echo comes with an optional voice remote but, unless your senior citizen friend is very soft-spoken, it’s probably not needed. I have, though, found the remote handy when I’m, for instance, in the kitchen and the Echo is in the living room where it lives. I can press the microphone button on the remote and activate the Echo in the other room. This is particularly nice when I’m cooking and need to add items to my shopping list.
Also, the Amazon Echo can control lights with the addition of an adaptor (shown as the bottom row below):
Voice Remote (New Generation) for Amazon Echo and Echo DotAmazon Echo: The 2016 User Guide And Manual: Get The Best Out Of Amazon EchoWeMo Switch, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control your Electronics from anywhere, Compatible with Amazon EchoWink Connected Home Hub
That Amazon Tap and Amazon Button – Two Additions To The Amazon Echo family
Since John came in those years ago with my new Echo, Amazon has realized the way the thing is changing the world to our seniors, teens – just about everyone.
Enter the Amazon Tap and the Amazon Dot.
The Amazon Tap and the Amazon Dot both have the full functionality of the Echo, just in a different form factor; additionally, the Amazon Dot requires an external speaker.
Both the Amazon Tap and Amazon Dot are smaller making them quite portable. The Amazon Tap is just one pound. The Amazon Dot comes in even smaller at just 5.7 ounces.
Unlike the Echo which is voice-controlled, the Amazon Tap works by having a button tapped to unleash its potential. On the other hand, the Amazon Dot is voice-controlled and identical to the Amazon Echo except it’s smaller – way smaller.
Any of these devices is sure to open the world to your favorite senior citizen this Christmas or Birthday.
All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – BlackAmazon Dot: Ultimate User Guide To Master Your Amazon Dot (Amazon Dot 2016 Ultimate User Guide)Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth SpeakerAmazon Tap Sling Cover – BlueAmazon Tap: The Ultimate Guide to Learn Amazon Tap Fast(Amazon Echo 2016,Amazon Tap,user manual,web services,by amazon,Free books,Free Movie,Alexa Kit) (Amazon Prime, smart devices, internet)Amazon Tap for Beginners: How to Start Using and Get the Most Out Of Your Amazon Tap! (Amazon 2016 Guide, Amazon Tap, Master Amazon Tap)