Meet the Amazon Echo Family

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The Amazon Echo Family consists of a number of smart speakers, many now in their 2nd and 3rd generations.

With the enduringly popular Echo family with the ubiquitous digital assistant Alexa onboard, Amazon has already exerted a stranglehold on a key segment of the market.

Amazon’s approach with smart speakers exemplifies the ethos of a connected home: user-friendly tech capable of controlling gadgets throughout the house hands-free.

Amazon is nevertheless locked into stiff competition with Apple and Google for complete dominance of the home operating system.

Today, we’ll outline Amazon’s emerging home automation line, and the growing range might surprise you in its depth.

And the obvious starting point is those world-famous smart speakers…

Smart Speakers

Amazon smart speakers debuted in late 2014 for Prime members. They soon went mainstream in mid-2015 when the first generation Echo was rolled out.

Until then, Amazon had focused fully on the expansion of its retail platform as well as pushing Amazon Web Services. As the revenue growth of the retail arm started slowing and margins remain very low, Amazon pivoted in an attempt to boost the stock price and swell the bottom line.

By December 2017, Amazon had shifted 36 million smart speakers. One year later, this had practically doubled to a staggering 66 million units. Revenue from smart speakers sold domestically is estimated at $1.2 billion in 2018. This is based on an average price of $60 for the 20 million units sold in the US that year.

With smart speakers launched across all major international markets, growth looks inevitable. CIRP (Consumer Intelligence Research Partners) data projects that growth at almost 100%.

Combined with an ever-growing range, Amazon are making it tough for Google to compete, even given the popularity of the Google Home smart speakers packing Google Assistant. Apple’s Home Pod cannot be considered serious competition and appeals to a far slimmer market segment.

We’ll briefly highlight some of the strongest performers in this robust line of smart speakers.

6 Echo Smart Speakers Worth Adding To Your Smart Home

As a foundation for home automation, an Echo device is the default option for millions.

Here are some of the multiple variants at your disposal:

  1. Echo Second Generation
  2. Echo Plus Second Generation
  3. Echo Spot
  4. Echo Dot
  5. Echo Dot For Kids
  6. Echo Show

1) Echo Second Generation

Rebooted with a superior speaker and a fresh fabric design, the newest iteration of Echo is still flying off the shelves in volume.

While Amazon don’t divulge too much specific information about the drivers, you’ll get a pair of speakers equipped with Dolby processing. While “room-filling” is pushing it, you’ll certainly an immersive soundscape to liven up your streaming.

As with all smart speakers, the audio is actually not the USP, though. If the sound disappoints, you can always hook up Echo to external speakers or headphones via Bluetooth or the 3.5mm outlet.

The key attraction, of course, is Alexa. Here, the 7 microphones and innovative beamforming mean Alexa can hear you across a busy, noisy room. You’ll be able to take charge of all your compatible smart devices using voice commands as well as organizing your day.

With hands-free calls and messaging possible between Echo devices, this original model is still a smart home stalwart in 2018. All that remains to be seen now is when a third generation will be announced.

2) Echo Plus Second Generation

Upping the ante is Echo Plus, a smart speaker boasting an integrated Zigbee home hub.

The hub means you can take enhanced control of Zigbee-enabled devices without being bound to a third-party gateway. This makes Echo Plus a strong choice if you only plan to invest in a handful of smart devices and you want to keep costs down.

The same dynamic bass and clear upper end as Echo give you more than serviceable audio. You can tweak equalizer settings with voice commands. You can also drop in a second Echo Plus if you want true stereo sound.

Finished in fabric with a choice of 3 colorways, this unobtrusive smart speaker is our overall favorite from a broad and impressive range.

3) Echo Spot

A tiny disc measuring just 4.1 x 3.8 x 3.6 inches and weighing less than 15oz, Echo Spot punches above its weight.

While marketed as a smart alarm clock, Spot can do so much more than wake you in the mornings. Once up, you can stream your favorite tunes to ease into your day. Ask Alexa for traffic reports and weather forecast to streamline your planning. Organization is where this digital assistant excels.

Just like with the larger stablemates, you’ll also be able to take control of the compatible smart devices in your home hands-free.

If you want the ultimate in portability or a second Echo device to add to your collection, Spot is well worth investigating.

4) Echo Dot

Now into a third generation, Echo Dot is also tiny with a price tag as skimpy as its footprint.

Sound has certainly improved, but it’s advisable to hook up Dot to a third-party speaker using Bluetooth or an audio cable. That way, you’ll get a far richer streaming experience whether from Amazon Music or Apple Music, YouTube or Spotify.

Hands-free calling between devices turns Echo Dot into a makeshift intercom. Drop-in allows you to stay in touch with your nearest and dearest or to call the kids down for dinner.

Boasting more than 50,000 skills, Alexa just keeps getting better. As with all Echo devices, smart home control is a breeze.

Set-up couldn’t be simpler, and if you want to know what to do once you’re up and running, we’ve got you covered here.

5) Echo Dot For Kids

If you want to introduce your children to home automation in a safe and user-friendly way, the kids’ version of Echo Dot is the obvious choice.

Blue, green, and red covers add a splash of fun to proceedings. You can also get multi-packs, ideal if you’ve got several children and you’re on a tighter budget.

This smart speaker comes with a year’s subscription to FreeTime Unlimited thrown in. Audible books, games, songs, and skills are all immaculately kid-friendly. You’ll be able to take charge of everything using the Amazon Parent Dashboard. You can monitor activity, implement time limits and allow calls to designated numbers.

As with all Echo smart speakers, you can also encourage your kids to control the lights or plugs using voice commands. It’s a nice, gently way to ease them into home automation without them tampering with your main Echo device.

The crowning glory is a 2-year limited warranty so you won’t have any concerns about unleashing your children with a breakable device.

6) Echo Show

Echo Show is not cheap but steps the smart speaker game up by adding a 10-inch HD screen.

From watching videos to making calls with an added dimension, you should ask yourself honestly how much use you’ll make of the screen. After all, if you’re only planning to watch the occasional YouTube clip, it’s senseless. If you’re looking for a kitchen companion, though, you’ll be delighted you made the investment. Following recipes and setting timers is brought to life on screen.

Packing the usual smart home control, you’ll be able to discover and set up compatible Zigbee devices with no need for an additional hub.

Have Smart Homes Finally Caught Up to Science Fiction?

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Living in a smart home used to be a concept that was only possible in science fiction movies. Fast-forward to the present day and the amount of science fiction concepts that are already being used by regular homeowners is staggering.

In this article, we are going to look at some of the famous examples of smart technology from the media and show how they accurately predicted the future.

Smart Assistants

One of the most famous examples of smart home technology was Tony Stark’s Jarvis from 2008’s Iron Man and its subsequent sequels. In the film, Jarvis is able to respond to a number of voice commands including turning on appliances and finding information. Both Apple and Amazon have famously created virtual assistants that can do just that. Techradar showcased the Atmos Smart Home Control System, which when integrated into the home, allows you to control all your connected devices through one easy-to-use central hub. In 2008, the technology looked as futuristic as the Iron Man suits, today it is available to everyone.

Smart Lights

Many films accurately predicted the smart technology that we have today. The movie Ex Machina has a scene where colored lights are synchronized with whatever music is playing. In the film it is a billionaire’s toy, but today, the average consumer can achieve the same effect with the Philips Hue. It synchronizes your lights with your music so you can watch it come to life. Even as far back as the sixties, smart home technology was predicted. The Ambient notes that from the Jetsons House is a great example of smart technology, as it showed robot vacuum cleaners, smart TVs, and many more smart gadgets that we have today. It goes to show that the concepts were always there, someone just had to bring them to the consumer market.

Smart Appliances

The 1999 movie Smart House, also got a few things right about future home tech including AI assistants and smart home devices that can send messages to your contacts without you picking up the phone. The house in the movie also lets the homeowner create personalized alarms that can wake them up, as well as smart kitchen helpers that can make coffee even before they get to the kitchen.

Artificial Intelligence

Science fiction has always looked at how technology will advance, and many of the concepts that were conceived in the 20th Century have come to fruition in the 21st. Of course, science fiction has generally been more focused on the negative aspect of advancing technology with an emphasis on how technology will turn against humanity. This particular topic has been very popular among some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters such as the Terminator and Jurassic Park franchises. Slingo Slots has a series of titles based on technology and science going wrong including the cinematic classics Jurassic Park and Terminator 2. Both games cover today’s controversial topics, AI and cloning, and the original conception of both titles were conceived when AI and cloning were considered purely science fiction. It goes to show just how far technology has come that games based on futuristic themes are now out-dated. The same is true with smart homes, which are now more advanced than some homes featured in science fiction films.

Of course, it is not just science fiction that smart homes can be associated with. Here on Smaart House we featured several ways to incorporate smart technology in your home for holiday celebrations like Halloween. Spookify is a great option, as it lets you play eerie tunes around your home. Accompany it with a creepy story from Audible and you’re all set for a spooky night.

 

Your Smart Home just got more secure with Alexa Guard

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Alexa, I’m leaving.”

OK — I’ll be on guard.

That’s the gist of Alexa Guard, a new feature from Amazon that lets your Echo devices keep an ear out for trouble when you’re away from home. If Alexa hears something after you’ve put her into Guard mode — a smoke alarm ringing or the sound of shattering glass, for instance — she’ll send you a notification. If you’re an ADT or Ring subscriber, she’ll notify your home security monitoring service, too.

Another feature: If you want, Alexa will cycle your smart lights on and off while you’re away to make it look like you’re home.

First announced back in September, Alexa Guard is now rolling out to Amazon’s customer base in the US. I was able to turn the feature on in my own home over the weekend, and spent some time testing it out. Here are some early takeaways:

Yep, it works!

With far-field microphones in every Echo device, Alexa is already a pretty good listener. Alexa Guard puts those mics to use by listening for the sound of glass breaking or the sound of alarms when you aren’t home.

And, my early impression is that it works pretty well! I didn’t have a spare window to smash at my place, but I played a YouTube video of glass break sound effects near one of my Echo devices, and immediately received a notification on my phone that Alexa heard something that sounded like glass breaking. The same thing happened when I tested with the sound of a smoke alarm going off.

Home Automation Installation

 

Amazon’s algorithm doesn’t seem to be as advanced as that, but it’s still an additional layer of protection while you’re away. And when Alexa hears something, her notification offers the immediate option of using Drop In to listen through your Echo device. If you wanted, you could even broadcast yourself telling the potential intruder that you’re calling the police as a means of scaring them off.

Alexa can’t call 911

Still, as Amazon notes as you’re confirming setup in the Alexa app, “Alexa Guard is not a replacement for an alarm system or life safety devices. Amazon does not monitor Smart Alerts and cannot contact emergency services on your behalf.”

That last bit is really important. Say you’re out on vacation with Alexa Guard turned on. Your Echo device at home hears the sound of your smoke detector going off, and Alexa sends you a notification. Unfortunately, you’re playing in the hotel pool with the kids, and you miss the notification. Alexa won’t act on your behalf at this point the way a professional monitoring service would. It’s on you to see the notification and act accordingly.

That said, with Ring, Amazon says that users can request dispatch of emergency responders directly from the Ring app if they are subscribed to the Ring Protect Plus plan.

And if you’re using an Alexa-compatible home security system that she can already arm and disarm with voice commands, you’ll be able to set it so that happens automatically whenever you turn Guard mode on and off. And if you’re disarming your system, she’ll still ask you for a numerical PIN code before doing so. That’s a touch that saves you from needing to give two separate voice commands as you come and go. Just say, “Alexa, I’m leaving” when you’re walking out the door, then “Alexa, I’m home,” followed by your PIN code when you return.

Away Lighting is smart and simple

Along with listening for trouble, Alexa Guard will let the assistant toggle your smart lights on and off while you’re out to make it look like you’re home — and potentially deter any would-be burglars from attempting a break-in.

You can enable the feature with a single tap when you’re turning Alexa Guard on in the Alexa app for Android and iOS devices. Once you do, the app will list all of your smart lights and include them all in Away Lighting by default. If there are any you’d like left out, just uncheck them.

The feature asks for your zip code when you’re setting it up — Alexa uses that zip code to know what time sunset is in your area each night. Away Lighting will only run when it’s dark out.

From there, you should be all set. When Alexa Guard is active and set to Away mode, your lights will automatically cycle on and off. The feature worked well when I tested it, and was even smart enough to automate some lights in tandem where it made sense — “Bedroom Ceiling Light 1” and “Bedroom Ceiling Light 2,” for instance. I didn’t need to set that up; Alexa just figured it out.

I also appreciated that the Alexa app gives you a detailed rundown of Alexa’s automated moves during Away Lighting. That’s good for micro-managers (and, admittedly, for guinea pigs like me that want a closer look at what Alexa’s up to).

Cheers!

 

Using Amazon Echo or Google Home for Caregiving

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Amazon Echo for Caregiving

Caregiving can be a challenge, but with smart voice assistants like Google Home or Amazon Echo, you can make caregiving fun.

If you’re an Amazon Echo or Google Homeowner, you may only ask your device for the weather or to play music. That’s O.K., but these devices can do so much more — and they can offer more than a few useful tricks to make you feel as if you’re living in the future.

Some of these can make your mornings a little brighter, while others can make your evenings more relaxing. To get the most of these Alexa commands, you’ll need to enable the skills from the Alexa Skills store first, and the Google Home commands and settings have to be enabled in your Google Home mobile app.

Both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa offer a “routines” skill, which automates certain tasks based on a single command. For example, you can ask your Amazon Echo or Google Home to tell you the weather and what’s on your calendar for the day, after saying “Alexa, start my day” or “Hey Google, good morning.” With this particular routine, there are nine actions the Google Home can perform, including reading the day’s top stories or local news, and then transition into six other actions like playing your favorite music or a preferred podcast to finish up your “morning.” On the Echo, there are four basic options, but you can add eight more to lengthen the routine.

The Google Home has six ready-to-go routines that you can customize in the Google Home app, and the Amazon Echo has one. You can also create completely custom routines on both devices.

Parents, this one might be a lifesaver — for your voice: Both products let you broadcast an announcement across other devices in your home. So, if you have an Echo in the kitchen, living room and a child’s bedroom, you can say, “Alexa, announce that dinner is ready,” and Alexa will repeat the message on each device in your voice — no skill necessary.

With the Google Home and Google Home Mini, you can do a similar command: “Hey Google, tell everyone it’s time to go.” If you’re an iOS user and want to do this but you’re away from home, you’ll have to separately download the Google Assistant app (Android users already have the Assistant enabled if they have the latest version of the operating system).

You might’ve heard of this but were dubious whether hands-free calling was actually possible, or easy. The good news: It is. The so-so news: There are a few steps you need to take before your hands-free calling dreams come true.

On Amazon Echo devices, you first have to sync your contacts in the Alexa app. Then, simply ask Alexa to call any of these people. A bonus feature on Echo devices is that you can call a friend or family member on their Echo device, like an Echo Spot or any device with Alexa installed. To enable this, both you and the person you’re trying to contact must have Alexa Calling and Messaging turned on. Then, you can call anyone from your mobile contacts. If that person has signed up, he or she will get a phone call on the Echo device or in the Amazon Alexa app.

With the Google Home, first link your Google account to your Google Home, turn on “personal results” and then sync your contacts. You’re ready to go, and you can ask Google to call anyone in your contacts list. You can also set hands-free callingto reveal your number when you call, so people can know it’s you and not an unfamiliar proxy number used to connect the call. (The Echo offers the same capability.)

For now, both devices don’t support calling emergency services, so no “Alexa, call 911” for you. Hands-free calling with Alexa works only in the United States, Canada and Mexico and only in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. for the Google Home.

Need a moment to yourself? Try meditating or relaxing with both devices with a few free, guided meditations from Headspace. On Google, you can say, “Hey Google, talk to Headspace”; on Alexa, request “Alexa, open Headspace.” If you’re a subscriber, you can continue a meditation from your phone onto your device. If you want general meditation content, you can say something along the lines of “Alexa, help me relax,” or “O.K. Google, help me meditate.”

Both devices can also help you calm down with commands like “O.K. Google, help me relax,” and sounds like rain falling will play — or white noise if you’re using it to go to sleep. The Echo is similar, but you can pick and choose what types of sounds you want to hear from the skills store. Google can also play “sleep sounds,” which are really lullabies meant for children, while the Echo offers white or ambient noise. Just say “Alexa, help me sleep” for options.

Sure, these devices can play music and add items to your cart, but it’s a little annoying to start every single request with “Alexa” or “O.K. Google.” Thankfully, Amazon and Google realized this. On the Google Home, the “Continued Conversation” feature allows you to ask your device a question, and the microphone stays on for eight additional seconds to see if you’ll ask a follow-up. (You do need to enable this in the settings of the Google Home app, as the feature is turned off by default.) The Amazon Echo also has the feature, except Amazon calls it “Follow-up mode” and you also have to turn it on in the app before using it.

Once it’s on, you can ask questions like “Who sang ‘In My Feelings?,’” and once your device responds with “Drake,” you can ask “How old is he?” and the device will not only know who “he” refers to but also answer without missing a beat. (Spoiler: Drake is 31.)

This feature has also paved the way to ask the device to do multiple things in one command. For example, with “multiple actions” on Google Home devices, you can say something like “Hey Google, turn up the thermostat and tell me the weather.” On the Echo, you can’t do it in a single sentence, but with follow-up mode you can just ask the two different commands one after the other.

Google’s later start in the smart home arena wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The extra time allowed it to come up with some truly useful exclusive features. For example, if you download and use the Google Assistant app in addition to Google Home, you can ask Google to remind you to do something at a certain location. So, if you need to buy milk at the grocery store, you can say “Hey Google, remind me to buy milk at the grocery store,” and as soon as you’re near your preferred store (which Google will ask you to specify), your phone will let you know what you need.

And if you’re in the mood for a nice story at the end of a long workday, just say “Hey Google, tell me something good,” and Google Assistant will read some “feel-good” stories.

Amazon’s focus in the smart home space has long been less about automation or routines and more about who you are as a person. For example, the seven-minute workout skill will walk you through a quick, high-intensity workout just by saying, “Start seven-minute workout.” If you have an Echo Show or Spot, both of which have LCD displays, you’ll also see images walking you through some exercises.

Another example is “Alexa Donations,” where with an easy “Alexa, I want to make a donation,” you can donate $5 to $5,000 to the charity or cause of your choice. At the moment, 154 nonprofits work with Amazon and Alexa Donations to make it possible.

With these new commands, you and your home should be on the way to becoming smarter — and more useful. Sure, these devices can play music and set timers, but these tips can help you get even more of your money’s worth.

Amazon Alexa empowering seniors to stay healthy!

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Alexa for health

Dr. on call

Too busy to call your doctor’s office? Well now you can simply shout at Alexa from the comfort of your couch for slightly similar results. Echo owners are able to hear physician-reviewed answers to questions about certain medical conditions and symptoms, drugs, side effects, tests and treatments by simply asking Alexa about them.

So now it’ll be even easier to spend hours on end trying to determine whether that teeny, tiny, probably harmless splinter you got in your pinky finger could lead to your imminent demise. Woo!

Generally speaking

Looking for answers to your health question, worried about drug side effects, WebMD has the answers for you. Looking for self-care instructions for dozens of everyday mishaps and other situations, then Mayo Clinic First Aid may have some answers for you. On the other hand, Dr. A. I. engages with you in an empathetic conversation.  And mention your symptoms as a “dry cough and fever”, then Symptom Checker has solutions for you.

Diabetes tracking

Now you can track all your diabetes data via voice command with Amazon Alexa! The One Drop Alexa Skill uses Amazon voice technology along with the One Drop app to create a quick and seamless experience for both people with diabetes and their caregivers. Sugarmate on the other end allows you to ask Alexa about your latest glucose readings from a Dexcom CGM, while The Insulin Calculator provides a straightforward and easy way to calculate insulin doses for people with diabetes. It is intended for educational purposes to help with standard insulin dose calculations.

Chronic conditions

To track other chronic conditions try myNursebot.

Before you pop that pill

When it works, the WebMD Alexa Skill is helpful, but unfortunately, many users report the skill has trouble recognizing drug names when they’re spoken aloud. Drug Facts pulls up information from both the Food and Drug Administration and the National Library of Medicine, but you must know the 10-digit National Drug Code number to get your drug questions answered.

Your doctor and hospital connect to Alexa

For urgent care clinic locations, various local Alexa Skills are launching. OhioHealth delivers phone numbers, wait times, and hours of operation for hospitals and healthcare clinics under the OhioHealth umbrella. To see the average, not real time, wait times, try Average ER wait times for hospitals near me.

Babies and kids

For children’s health, KidsMD by Boston Children’s Hospital is a bit too chatty — but still useful for answering questions, and gives dosing recommendations for children based on their weight for common over-the-counter medicines. To look up childhood immunization recommendations based on the U.S. vaccination schedule, Baby Shot will tell you what is advised for your child’s age.

Need help in the middle of the night — or honestly any time at all? Hatch Baby has doctor-recommended advice, while also keeping track of a baby’s sleep schedule, along with dirty and wet diapers. Even more expansive, the Baby Stats Alexa Skill tracks due dates, kicking, bottles drunk and diaper activity for multiple babies.

Now, who said about wait times at the doctor’s clinic…..

Have a Spooktacular Halloween With Your Own Haunted Smart Home

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THE HOLIDAY SEASON is in full swing, which means we’re all whipping out our decorations and decking our homes out for the festivities ahead. First up: Halloween. That means it’s time to get your spook on. Between monstrous masks that evoke the horror icons who haunt our nightmares (thanks, Chucky), and our favorite home decor (like […]

How I got my grandmother hooked to Audible

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Home Automation

Amazon Alexa

First, Evelyn Moore tried to read books with a magnifying glass. Then, she turned to a tablet to make the words on her e-books larger. Eventually, she couldn’t even see that. The 95-year-old was losing her sight, and with it, one of her favorite hobbies.

“She wasn’t able to read anymore, and that was a big loss,” said her son James Moore.

Last year, the younger Moore had an idea: What if he could get his mom a device that could read books to her without the need to navigate a control screen that she had a hard time seeing?

That device turned out to be the Amazon Echo, an internet-connected smart speaker that responds to voice commands. James Moore figured that he could buy his mother audiobooks from Audible, then teach her to use voice prompts to have the Echo play the audiobook.

At first, Evelyn Moore was a little wary.

“It took a little while to convince her of it,” James Moore said. “Her thought was that we’re going to have wires everywhere.”

Eventually, she agreed to try it. It’s been nearly a year, and she’s listened to 178 books.

Smart home gadgets like the Amazon Echo can provide an extra layer of comfort and protection for older adults who want to stay in their own homes as they age. They can also give caregivers or adult children like Jim Godek a means to monitor them, especially if they don’t live close to one another.

Evelyn Moore isn’t alone. Roughly 90 percent of seniors intend to continue living in their current home for the next five to 10 years, according to a survey taken by the AARP in 2012. But change — in the form of new technology — can be scary and intimidating. How do you tell your parents you want them to use a smart home device to help them live independently?

“Starting any kind of conversation with the elderly can be tricky,” said Barbara McVickers, an elder care expert, and author. “Mom and Dad sometimes don’t want to talk about this. They see this as a role reversal. They still want to be in charge. It becomes a tug-of-war with the parents wanting to be autonomous and the child caring about the well-being of their parents.”

Here are some tips on how to start a conversation with your parents about upgrading to smart home tech for their benefit — and yours:

  • Include them in the conversation instead of telling them what to do. “If we just go blaring in there as adult children, they’re going to really dig their heels in,” McVickers said. Listen to their own concerns, and share your own, too.
  • Call a family meeting to talk about how you want to help your parents. Bring in your siblings or other family members who provide care for your parents so “everyone is deciding together what is best for mom and dad,” McVickers said. Consider bringing in a third party your parent’s trust so they can provide some perspective, too, such as their physician, insurance agent or a family friend.
  • Provide a real-life example of how a gadget could help. Do you have a friend whose parents’ home got broken into who could have benefited from a security system? Use stories like that to illustrate the need to add some devices to their homes. And discuss how a device could help make your life easier, especially if you are the primary caregiver. McVickers suggests that you make a statement like this: “I’m doing this out of love and safety, but we need to know how we can help you age the way you wish.”
  • If your parents are on board with adding a smart home gadget to their routine, pick something that’s simple and requires little interaction. New technology is intimidating, and something too difficult to learn can turn off aging parents. For your parents to successfully make a new device a part of their lives, “it almost has to work flawlessly without their interaction,” McVickers said. (Check out these smart home devices that are easier to use.)
  • Install new devices for your parents and write down step-by-step instructions for how to use them. “If Mom and Dad can’t use it, it’s not helpful at all,” McVickers said.
  • Make sure your parents have a reliable internet connection and Wi-Fi network if the devices you choose rely on Wi-Fi. Here are some Wi-Fi systems that will help make sure your parents and their devices stay online.
  • Reevaluate how your parents are doing with the new device.Check in regularly to see if the device is helping them. Stay on top of your parents’ needs since they could change and require new and different technology.
  • Know when to accept defeat. Your parents might be adamant against changes to their routine. “There’s a certain point you can’t do anything else,” McVickers said. “They’re adults. Forgive yourself if you don’t get everything in place.”For Evelyn Moore, the introduction of the Amazon Echo into her home has had a huge impact, according to her son.”She has made the comment that she can look forward to something brand new every day when she gets up,” he said.

    They’ve added a smart thermostat to Evelyn Moore’s home that she can voice-control, too. But all of the additions have to be on her terms.

    “It’s still her life,” James Moore said. “I can have all the input I want, but it’s her choice.”