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Alexa Together review: keeping tabs on Dad

Vox Media
Urgent Response
Apple Watch
the Remote Assist
Philips Hue
Zigbee smart
Alexa Together
the Alexa Privacy Hub
These Remote Assist
The Remote Assist
Alexa Care Hub
the Urgent Response
the Alexa Together Urgent Response
Ring or Simplisafe

Alexa Together
Vayyar Care
Alexa Skill
Jennifer Pattison Tuohy


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South Carolina


Positivity     46.00%   
   Negativity   54.00%
The New York Times
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But later, when I’m actually awake and scrolling through my notifications, it’s a quick mental check telling me that my dad, who lives 300 miles away in Florida, is up and moving around.In January, we started a trial of Alexa Together, a new $19.99 a month service from Amazon that uses its digital assistant to somewhat unobtrusively keep tabs on a consenting family member or loved one. Using cues from my father’s interactions with Echo speakers and Alexa-connected devices in his home in Florida, Alexa Together kept me informed here in South Carolina without bothering him and without me needing to remember to call and check in (yes, I am a terrible daughter). Specifically, Alexa Together can help a caregiver who doesn’t live with an aging loved one maintain a near-constant connection through those smart devices and provide help more easily and quickly when they are needed. It’s also easy to set up and manage, especially if you are already familiar with Echo devices and the Alexa app. This is because the activity feed, which is the main feature you’ll interact with, requires the care receiver to actually use Alexa by interacting with devices such as smart lights or smart plugs or making a request of Alexa on an Echo speaker. These currently include the $250 Vayyar Care, a wall-mounted device designed for bathrooms that uses sensors and radio waves to detect a human figure falling, ATS’s SkyAngelCare, a $170 fall-detection pendant that communicates over Wi-Fi to Alexa, and AltumView’s smart activity sensor, a $250 fall detection camera that transmits stick-figure animations rather than video to protect privacy.I had put a first-gen Echo Show in my parents’ home a few years ago, and they use it primarily as a picture frame. For example, a caregiver will be able to see their loved one has used their Alexa-enabled devices for entertainment or recipes & kitchen topics — but not the song they were listening to or recipe they were using.In addition to Alexa’s general privacy controls (which can be managed in the Alexa app and the Alexa Privacy Hub), specific Alexa Together data controls include the option to not have voice recordings saved, Alexa can still provide alerts based on activit,y but the activity won’t appear in the Alexa Together feed.If my dad hadn’t answered the phone following the No Activity alert, I could have used the Drop-In feature. Remote Assist allowed me to go in and adjust settings on my Dad’s Echo devices in Florida using my Alexa app here in South Carolina. Amazon says the care receiver will get an email whenever a Routine is set up for them.My dad found the service helpful, too, saying it was reassuring knowing that just by turning on one of the two new smart lights, I knew they were up and about. “We have looked upon the expanded system as an asset, not an intrusion, and we have been well satisfied with its performance.” While I found all these features useful, alone, they are not worth $20 a month (Alexa’s previous service, Alexa Care Hub, did a lot of this and was free). But we’re going to start counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.In order to use the Amazon Alexa Together service, you’ll need to download the Alexa app for iOS and Android.

As said here by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy