Amazon’s fall 2021 event certainly didn’t disappoint, showcasing everything from a new wall-mounted Echo Show to an Amazon home robot (no, really). But the company is also adding new services to its lineup, including a brand new Alexa ability called Alexa Together.
While services like Alexa Guard focus on security, Alexa Together is specifically targeted to those aging in place, seniors who are remaining in their own homes or moving into independent living situations like granny pods. It works with a variety of Amazon devices and is compatible with third-party monitoring devices as well — such as some fall detectors — so it can draw in data from multiple sources. Key features include:
- Care alerts sent to family members or caregivers when it looks like something has gone wrong, such as a potential fall or accident in the home.
- An Urgent Response option that can connect seniors to a 24/7 emergency helpline. This hotline can be accessed hands-free in case of an accident and is also compatible with third-party detectors. This will also send alerts to emergency contacts.
- A Remote Assist feature that allows caregivers to send messages directly to a device like an Echo or Echo Show. Remote Assist lets loved ones do things like set reminders to take medications or link up favorite music services and add contacts so that seniors don’t have to worry about setup steps like those.
Innate Alexa features, like privacy settings and the ability to call up contacts from Echo Devices, will also work with Alexa Together to provide a comprehensive experience.
In many ways, Alexa Together is the next evolution for Care Hub, a similar service that Amazon released to more easily connect people through Echo Devices. Those who already signed up for Care Hub will be able to access a full free year of Alexa Together when the service launches. Others will be able to try a six-month free trial before they decide to keep the service. At that point, it will cost $19.99 per month.
Note that a single Alexa Together subscription will support multiple family contacts for aging in place — not every connected account will need their own subscription to help out. However, an Alexa-enabled device is necessary. Amazon expects Alexa Together to launch later in 2021, with additional compatibility for multiple users arriving in 2022.
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