To the unimaginative mind, the Amazon Echo may be nothing more than a way to play music or replace an old alarm clock, but it’s really so much more. Whether you have one Echo or one for every room in your house, the Echo offers many surprising benefits.
Try one - or all! - of the following six ideas to see what an asset your Echo could become.
Use Alexa Care Hub To Monitor Loved Ones
The Alexa Care Hub is an innovative feature released by Amazon in response to a problem that so many people face: caring for and monitoring aging loved ones from a distance. Whether you’re a caretaker or just a concerned son or daughter, Alexa Care offers a simple and subtle way to confirm the safety and wellbeing of your mother, grandfather, or elderly neighbor.
The goal of Alexa Care Hub is to provide a practical solution for caregiving from a distance, while still respecting the privacy and autonomy of those receiving care.
To start using the Care Hub, open the Alexa app and tap More > See More > Care Hub. Select Get Started and follow the instructions. Your loved one will need to accept the request in their email and then set up a four-digit code to complete the setup. Depending on your loved one’s technological abilities, you may need to do this on their behalf.
This free service offers a number of benefits between two linked Amazon accounts. First, you can set up personalized alerts to notify of certain activities or a period of inactivity. For example, if the Echo hasn’t recorded any movement from your grandfather in 8 hours, you receive an alert. The person receiving care can also set personalized emergency contacts to call with a simple voice command.
Keep Your Pets Company While You’re Away
Cats and dogs need some love too! Whether you’re away at work or on a trip, use the Echo to entertain your pets and give them some attention.
All it takes is downloading an Alexa app, such as Meow! Or Woof! This enables Alexa to use your Echo to act as a virtual cat or dog and have conversations with your pet. Yes, really! The wonders of technology.
Say, “Alexa, enable Meow” or “Alexa, enable Bark” and your pets can bark and meow back and forth with your Echo all day long.
Track Your Keys, So You Finally Stop Losing Them
Keys have a funny little habit of vanishing with no explanation. You walk in the door juggling 6 bags of groceries and your laptop case, toss your keys over near the mail pile, and suddenly they’ve disappeared from the face of the Earth.
Avoid the frantic search for your car keys each morning with the help of your Echo. The easiest option is to let Echo know where you are placing your keys each evening: “Alexa, remember that I placed my keys on the dresser upstairs.” Then the next morning, when you’re dumping baskets upside down looking for those keys, you only have to say, “Alexa, remind me where I put my keys,” and you have your answer.
Or, for a completely fool-proof system, you can attach an RFID device, such as a Tile tracker, to your keychain and pair it with Alexa.
Move the TV Volume Closer To You
If you want to improve your TV and movie watching experience without purchasing a new soundbar, consider using your Echo to stream sound from your TV. This is incredibly useful when you want the sound to be louder and closer without it booming through the house and waking up the kids or disrupting your spouse on a Zoom call in the next room.
Simply connect your Echo devices to a smart TV with Bluetooth capabilities. Say “Alexa, connect” to get the ball rolling. Your Echo can easily double as your personalized portable TV speaker until you’re ready to say “Alexa, disconnect.”
Schedule Helpful Reminders
Your younger daughter’s soccer pictures are next Wednesday at 6:00PM, but your older son’s soccer pictures are next Thursday at 4:00PM. And in between you have three conferences, a dinner date with your parents, and about a million work deadlines.
Lean on Echo support to schedule helpful reminders, even if it’s for something as simple as, “It’s time to put dinner in the oven,” or, “It’s time to take your medication.” You are already juggling enough, utilize Echo for all it’s worth by making her your handy virtual assistant.
Get Wardrobe Advice
What should I wear today? It’s the age-old problem made even more challenging when you don’t know the weather for the day. Echo can help with this too. You don’t even need to ask for the weather report; just say, “Alexa, what should I wear today?” and your Echo will share the weather forecast and an outfit recommendation based on weather conditions.
Which Echo is the best for you? From the small Echo Dot to the impressive wall-mounted Echo 15, there’s a model out there for your every need.