Skip to main content

Amazon’s new Alexa Together is an aging-in-place solution for seniors

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.

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.
Alexa Together Routines.

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Lacoma
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
Amazon Astro gets new pet- and security-focused features
Astro looking at an open front door of a home.

Last year, Amazon announced its new home robot Astro. Astro combines autonomous navigation, intelligent motion, Alexa, and a cheery personality all into one device. Thus far, you could use it to help patrol and secure your home or have it always near a loved one for communication. Today at its fall hardware event, Amazon announced new features that Astro will have to improve its intelligence.

First, Astro is no longer just for the home, but also for small and medium-sized businesses. Having Astro patrol your business after hours or while you're away is an excellent alternative to hiring a security guard. Speaking of which, Astro can now utilize Ring's Virtual Security Guard feature to keep businesses protected. For example, suppose the company is already using Ring Alarm systems, and an alarm goes off. In that case, Astro can investigate what is happening while a rapid response agent can visually observe what's happening in real time. Then, if needed, agents can take action by calling authorities or talking to intruders using Astro's cameras and two-way talk microphones.

Read more
Everything announced at Amazon’s 2022 Fall Event: new Echos, Fire TVs, Kindle Scribe, and more
Amazon Astro in a build with Ring Virtual Security Guard on its screen.

Amazon announced everything from new Echos, to security cameras, to Fire TVs, and more at its September 28 devices and services event. The new hardware underscores a commitment to what the company dubs "ambient intelligence:" every interaction should be intuitive, proactive, and personalized to help you enjoy the here and now. What's the secret sauce that lets Amazon deliver these contextual experiences? Sensors. Many of the products announced today come with sensors designed to help monitor and enhance a person's environment and experience. Of course, you can adjust the settings to still keep your data private.

Most of the products will be available later this year, with others (ahem, Astro) coming one day. We've rounded up everything Amazon announced today.
Amazon smart speakers

Read more
New Ring cams get radar, fresh design, and now they can dispatch Amazon Astro’s robot
Ring Spotlight Cam Pro wired on a wall.

During Wednesday's Amazon event, Ring announced a bevy of new products to join its large lineup. These products include the new Spotlight Cam Pro, Virtual Security Guard, and new software features for older products.
Ring Spotlight Cam Pro
First up is the new Spotlight Cam Pro, focusing on using radar sensors for improved motion detection. With the new radar sensor in the camera, you can set precise thresholds on when the Cam Pro starts to record and alert you to motion. Those sensors also power the Bird's Eye View feature that will show you an estimated path someone may have followed. So, if a delivery driver dropped off a package, you can see exactly what route they took around your property. This view will show in a picture-in-picture format whether you're watching live or a past event.

Ring Spotlight Cam Plus
The next generation of the Spotlight Cam is coined Spotlight Cam Plus. It offers a new design while maintaining all the features that customers expect, including two-way talk, color night vision, live view, and a security siren. The Spotlight Cam Plus will also be available in multiple power options, including Solar, Battery Wired, and Plug-in. You can pre-order the Spotlight Cam Plus now, starting at $200.

Read more