Safety, Independence and Comfort

We’re back with our special “The Internet of Things”. An entire program all about the sea change occurring in America and around the world. We are more connected than ever before, thanks to the internet, Computers. Smartphones. And the new voice recognition devices.

And I’d like to wrap up today’s show by talking about the voice recognition devices, because they are by far the hottest selling tech in the world. Research by Futuri, which puts clients on the Amazon Echo platform, indicates that by the year 2021 nearly two billion people in the world will be using voice recognition devices. We’re talking about the Amazon Echo, the Google home, and Apple homepod.


Now we all know what they do. The voice recognition devices, which are also called smart speakers, or smart displays if you have one with a screen, are controlled by your voice. Just tell it what you want. The latest Wall Street numbers, the latest weather forecast. Play a song for you. When connected to a smart thermostat, they can raise or lower the temperature in your home. And when connected to a smart lighting system they can turn your lights on and off, make them dimmer, make them brighter, and much more. Oh – and smart devices can even lock your front door if you have smart door locks too.

Now we all know their capabilities. But I wanted to mention now – how these devices are changing millions of lives. The elderly, the disabled, and even wounded warriors are finding that smart speakers can truly help them lead safer, more independent and more comfortable lives.

Consumer Reports writes – quote: “the Amazon Echo’s Voice Commands Offer Big Benefits to Users With Disabilities…” saying….Home automation and voice commands are empowering many fans of the connected device

They cite the example of a man in Georgia who is a quadriplegic. His Amazon Echo, reads books to him, controls his thermostat….and helps provide him – a kind of freedom, from his disabilities.
Consumer reports also points out that the cost of these devices is minuscule, compared to specialized gear., which can easily run into the thousands of dollars.

The Veterans Administration is also studying the use of voice recognition to help our nation’s wounded and disabled warriors. The VA reports that they are teaming up with Amazon, to quote “.. extend the use of digital devices to help improve the lives of Veterans with disabilities.”

Amazon is donating its Amazon Echo voice recognition devices to the VA’s Assistive Technology Labs….and the VA reports it’s working with Amazon to make sure, the devices have what it takes – to help our nation’s veterans.

And the AARP? They posted a great article about providing the Amazon Show – which has a screen – in an elderly family members room, or their home. So that caregivers can check in…talk to the elderly person, and find out what they need. In their article, called ‘Echo, Show me Mom,’ the AARP writes – the video feature on Amazon’s Echo Show and could be hugely useful.

Again. Safety, comfort and independence. Who knew that something that’s so much fun, could have such a big impact on people’s lives?

It’s a positive development, which is helping people from coast to coast. Brought to you by ‘“The Internet of Things.”

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