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Somerset Sight

Amazon Echo

In our Resource Centre and on our Seeing Life Differently Days course, we regularly demonstrate the Amazon Echo. With all the recent advances in technology over the last few years something like the Amazon Echo voice assistant is a mainstream product and accessible to all.

The aim of voice technology is to make life easier. There are many impressive features within the device so as long as you have an internet connection and someone who can help you set the gadget up initially then it’s very straightforward to use.

So, what can the Amazon Echo do to help?  It allows you to set reminders for example with medication or when to feed your pet.  You can ask the device to set a timer “Alexa, set a timer for three minutes” or “Alexa, wake me up tomorrow at 7am”.  You can simply ask her the time “Alex, what’s the time?” or “What’s the weather today in Bridgwater?”.

You might need some assistance to setup but the Amazon Echo will allow you to make calls to your friends and family. It’s also possible to access radio stations, talking books and talking newspapers through the power of your voice using this gizmo.

Perhaps you like to keep active? You can try some of the skills available on the Amazon Echo such as the 7-minute Workout

Improve your energy, mood and core strength by simply saying to the device “Alexa, enable 7-minute Workout”. The skill gives you the option to complete a low impact, standard or advance workout.

There’s another skill available on the Amazon echo called ‘Daily Stretch’ again you simply say: “Alexa, enable Daily Stretch’ and she’ll give you audio information about the application. She’ll give you a new daily stretch or you can ask for a certain body part stretch e.g. back, neck or shoulders

Do you like to keep yourself busy by playing quizzes? You can play games on the Alexa too! Just ask “Alexa, enable Trivia Hero” or perhaps you enjoy music more “Alexa, enable Song Quiz”. 

The skills I’ve mentioned are completely free to use it’s just a matter of asking Alexa to enable then when using them for the first time.

We are a little behind America but we can look forward to other great features in the not to distant future including the Echo Show which allows a user to place an item in front of a screen and the device will tell you what product you’re holding. Handy so you don’t to confuse your baked beans with your dog food!

If that’s not enough it gets better with the Amazon Smart Oven this comes with a free echo dot. A free braille overlay is also available on request. The microwave does multiple things (oven, air fryer and food warmer), the appliance also comes with a food thermometer. You can ask Alexa to “reheat one mug of coffee” or “Alexa, preheat oven”.

There are so many aspects to the Amazon Alexa it would be impossible for me to include them all. However, if you’d like a demonstration or perhaps have a query regarding this device please do get in touch and I’ll do my best to help.