Keep Tabs on Aging Loved Ones With $20/Month 'Alexa Together' Service
Amazon is turning the free Care Hub service it unveiled last year into a paid feature intended to help caregivers keep tabs on aging loved ones from afar.
Alexa Together is a suite of tools that will allow elderly users to “feel more comfortable and confident living independently,” Amazon says, while providing their family or caregivers a means of monitoring and checking up on them via Amazon Echo devices.
It costs $19.99 a month or $199 per year; Amazon is currently offering a limited-time six-month trial. Existing Care Hub customers will get free access to Alexa Together until Dec. 7, 2022, at which point they'll either have to cancel or start paying for it.
A few Care Hub features—the activity feed, Care alerts, and methods for communicating through Alexa—will carry over to Alexa Together. The activity feed allows a caregiver to see that their loved one has interacted with Alexa (without revealing details about that interaction), and it can also alert them when there hasn’t been any activity before a specific time.
Caregivers will also have the option of assisting whomever they’re looking after by remotely setting reminders, managing shopping lists, and more on Alexa devices.
New features introduced by Alexa Together include an Urgent Response line and integration with fall-detection tools. Urgent Response allows a user to say, “Alexa, call for help,” and the Alexa device will connect them to an emergency helpline set up by Amazon (Alexa Together does not call 911) and alert the person's caregivers.
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The fall-detection tool requires Assistive Technology Service’s wearable SkyAngelCare pendant and the wall-mounted Vayyar motion-sensing tools.
Alexa Together currently supports one primary caregiver, though in early 2022, it will allow up to 10 people—a “Circle of Support”—to receive alerts in case the primary caregiver is unavailable. Caregivers do not need an Alexa device, just the Alexa app installed on their phone.
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