Alexa Together Adds Additional Multiple Caregivers And Remote Alexa Routine Setup
Amazon has updated the Alexa Together subscription service connecting aging users and their loved ones through Alexa. The subscriber can use the new Circle of Support feature to share updates and Remote Assist control of their device to as many as 10 designated caregivers, and the Remote Assist will let the primary caregiver create and enable Alexa Routines for the subscriber to use without having to set them up on their own.
Circle of Support
Alexa Together initially only allowed for one household to connect with the subscriber as their caregiver. Circle of Support extends that connection up to 10 people. The circle members can be added or removed by the subscriber or the original, primary caregiver. The idea is to strengthen the support system for the subscriber, especially if the first person on the list doesn’t live nearby. More than a quarter of Alexa Together users are in a different state from their designated primary caregiver and nearly two-thirds are in different cities so it’s easy to see the appeal of opening up the list to more people.
“These circle members can be siblings, cousins, friends, or close neighbors who can stop by to visit in person. Circle members can even include the spouse of the primary caregiver so each spouse receives alerts on their smartphone,” Amazon explained in a blog post. “Circle members get peace of mind through the daily alerts and quick check-ins through the activity feed.”
That said, Only the designated primary caregiver can use the Remote Assist tool to set reminders, make shopping lists, and otherwise interact with the device. The other Alexa Together update augments Remote Assist with the option to make Alexa Routines as well. They can streamline the subscriber’s morning by combining turning off an alarm, playing the news, turning on the kitchen light and activating the coffee maker into a single command as they would at home, but embed it in the older person’s device. It’s a good way to simplify things for the subscscriber to take better advantage of Alexa and its range of functions. Amazon sends the subscriber an email every time a Routine is set up for them to keep them informed of their new commands. will automatically send an email about the newest Routine to the aging loved one so they are informed whenever a new Routine is set up.
Speaking of Remote Assist, Amazon will soon upgrade that feature to let the primary caregiver set up Alexa Routines for their loved one. For instance, to make life a little simpler for the person receiving care, a routine might group together early morning actions like switching off the alarm, playing a news bulletin and turning on the coffee machine, all of which can be triggered with a single voice command. Circle of SUpport is already available, while the Remote Assist Routines feature is set to roll out in the near future. Alexa Together is only in the U.S. right now for $20 a month or $200 a year with a six-month free trial.
Voice AI Caregiving
Alexa Together grew out of the Alexa Care Hub, but the idea of voice AI for helping people as they age has taken off for those living alone as well as those in retirement communities. Dublin City University (DCU) recently piloted a network of voice AI and smart technology to improve the lives of older people living alone called NEX, while elder tech developer K4Connect integrated its software for assisted living communities in more than 1,400 Echo Show smart displays in a partnership with North Carolina Assisted Living Association (NCALA) last year. Research has shown that voice assistants can reduce loneliness in older people, prompting several specialized the creation of proactive digital assistants like ElliQ. On a more elaborate level, mobile robots like temi or the cat-faced Mylo, serve as caretakers while keeping loved ones informed about the user’s health.