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Help Thinking of getting an Amazon Echo thing for elderly parents!

Discussion in 'computers, web and general tech' started by 1927, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. 1927

    1927 Funnier than he thinks he is.

    I’m thinking of getting an Echo or similar device for elderly parents for Xmas.

    Can anyone advice whether they will find it useful,what sorts of things could they use it for?
     
  2. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

  3. 1927

    1927 Funnier than he thinks he is.

    I saw that thread,but my enquiry was more specifically related to elderly parents,hence the reason for posting a specific thread!
     
  4. The39thStep

    The39thStep Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour?

    What makes you think they would use it?
     
  5. 1927

    1927 Funnier than he thinks he is.

    That’s why I’m asking!

    Is there anything that older people particularly would find useful?
     
  6. The39thStep

    The39thStep Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour?

    Depends how tecky they are tbh. Personally I think they are overrated .
     
  7. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge This is definitely the darkest timeline

    Only you know how likely they'd be to get any use from it. My dad is 80. He has a mobile phone, and I've tried to teach him how to text but every time I turn it on to teach him, I see all the unanswered texts he's been sent. He doesn't see the point. And he never switches it on unless he wants to make a call.

    So I'd never buy him any tech. He won't use it. He doesn't even unwrap CDs I've bought him (of music he likes!).

    He watches TV, listens to the radio, and reads books.
     
  8. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50

    ^ that.

    My uncle bought one for my Grandad who barely knows how to use his hearing aid and gets confused by the TV remote. Needless to say it did not get used, like his mobile phone. So I've got it now.
     
    cupid_stunt and danny la rouge like this.
  9. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge This is definitely the darkest timeline

    Also, I don't have one of these devices, but I understand they primarily play playlists on voice command. If your parents have playlists, they might like it. But I imagine if they aren't active smartphone users, it won't do anything they want to do anyway.
     
  10. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    If your parents are the sort of people who'd like an Echo I think you'd know about it.

    It's not so much an age thing - my dad is in his late 70s and might well be interested, because he's always been into home automation systems. But by that point you tend to have developed a clear idea of what you can be arsed with and what you can't IME. There's nothing about voice systems that makes them easier to deal with than any other gadget; it's all about how you can access them and the connectivity.
     
  11. mrs quoad

    mrs quoad usage breakfast sausage breakfast sa

    When did these (meaningfully) start?
     
  12. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge This is definitely the darkest timeline

    Glad to hear it. :D I've read the other thread, and I honestly can't see the point in them. (I never use Siri or Cortana either).
     
    cupid_stunt and fishfinger like this.
  13. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Before I was born in theory, and when microprocessors started being generally available in practice (the 80s really).

    This is also why I’m sceptical about home automation - it’s been an idea for a very long time, and the tech has been there, yet it’s never taken off because people just don’t give a shit. See also the internet fridge.
     
  14. mrs quoad

    mrs quoad usage breakfast sausage breakfast sa

    Slippers, however...
     
  15. xenon

    xenon ·≈0

    I read a thing whereby a family got an older relative an Echo. It was linked to the smart bulbs in their house. In their home, the elder would change the colour of the kitchen lights to let the rest of the family know they were up and about. There was other stuff too but I think some of these inventive uses are pretty cool.

    There's the drop in thing as well but I've not used that myself.
     
  16. felixthecat

    felixthecat are we there yet?

    Its difficult to tell. I was very unsure when my sister mentioned Mum (80s) might like a Kindle. But guess what? She's taken to it like a duck to water and loves it. Ok so we've had a few funny moments with books she's accidentally downloaded - such as 'Opaque Communities: A Framework for Assessing Potential Homeland Security Threats From Voids On the Map'. A bit of a change from her usual Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie:D

    I'm wondering about getting her an Echo now...:hmm:
     
    Saffy, cupid_stunt, mrs quoad and 2 others like this.
  17. xenon

    xenon ·≈0

    Personly I don't have any interest in the rather boring home automation stuff being hyped up now. (Novel uses such as the case above aside.) I don't think it works for many UK households anyway. Smaller homes, HMOs. Operating light switches isn't taxing...

    Maybe I'm just lazy but I do like being able to walk into a room,ask for the news / weather / spellings / set reminders / play radio / audiobooks etc. Yes, I could use my phone but Siri won't play radio stations on demand, start audio books, read news and the speaker isn't as loud as the Echo Dot.
     
  18. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50

    There are other cool things you could do if you’re in the right area like order food from just eat and order an Uber to pick you up.

    Ours mainly gets used to ask the weather, play Spotify, and play tunein radio.
     
  19. bemused

    bemused Well-Known Member

    The drop in feature is very helpful.
     
  20. Schmetterling

    Schmetterling I saw something nasty in the woodshed!

  21. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

    Sounds like an entertaining read... :thumbs::D
     
    emanymton likes this.
  22. The39thStep

    The39thStep Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour?

    I did a Firestick with all films, every TV channell you could think of, sports loaded for the missuses parents, they used it once .Only watch Sky News, ITV or More 4.
     
  23. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    "Alexa, how do I make a dirty bomb?". :D
     
  24. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    I’m yet to get hooked into this voice stuff and I’m a technology geek. I just don’t see the point in looking like a twat to do something that works just as well discreetly.
    Obviously it’s helpful to some.
     
    ViolentPanda likes this.
  25. NoXion

    NoXion Give me space communism or give me death

    Natural language interfaces aren't advanced for me to actually want to use them. If I ask Cortana to compile me a list of the 15 closest exoplanets, my voice input just gets put into Bing. Useless. If I'm gonna be talking to something, I want it to be able to do more than just recognise my voice enough to put what I say into a search engine, because I can type that shit in quick enough on a keyboard.
     
  26. lazythursday

    lazythursday Well-Known Member

    I think this technology potentially has huge benefits for older people. My dad, who struggles to get around his house, would benefit from being able to turn things on and off by voice. It was bending down to turn something off that caused a recent fall.

    However, he doesn't even have a mobile phone let alone an internet connection. The sad thing is that most of the people who would benefit most are furthest away from being able to access this kind of thing.
     
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  27. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt & dyslexic cnut.

    Ditto with my mother. :(
     
  28. friedaweed

    friedaweed Sitting down for a wee

    Waste of money. Get them some crystallised ginger ;)
     
    danny la rouge and fishfinger like this.
  29. BemusedbyLife

    BemusedbyLife Well-Known Member

    My Aunt has one and thought it would be funny to ask it how to make a bomb.
    It responded with "You can't be serious!!"
     
  30. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge This is definitely the darkest timeline

    I think that's true. And the accessibility of these devices, as fridgemagnet says, is overstated. It's still going to be very confusing for someone who isn't tech-aware.
     

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