Amazon has announced new Echo devices and new Alexa features for new and existing Echo devices, some of which already are being used in senior living communities.
Thursday’s announcements follow recent news of potential senior living interest, that an updated Apple Watch now can detect falls and that Apple’s HomePod wireless speaker has new features.
Amazon technology already is being used by some senior living operators and companies serving the industry. Earlier this year, for instance, Civitas Senior Living and Front Porch announced that they were testing Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, via the Echo device in senior living communities. And VoiceFriend automated notification technology, RCare wireless nurse call systems and Connected Living devices, among others, have Alexa-enabled options, the companies announced this year.
Some of the new Echo devices announced Thursday include an all-new Echo Dot, with a new speaker that Amazon said delivers louder, crisper sound; an all-new Echo Plus with an upgraded speaker, for setting up compatible devices; and an all-new Echo Show with an upgraded speaker, 10-inch HD screen and a built-in “smart home” hub.
Some of the new Echo companion devices include an Echo Wall Clock that connects to an Echo device to visually show timers, alarms and reminders set via Alexa; and Echo Input, which lets users add Alexa to an existing speaker.
Some of the new smart home devices include the AmazonBasics Microwave, a countertop microwave that connects to an Echo device so users can ask Alexa to reheat defrost, or microwave food based on time, power level or food type; and the Amazon Smart Plug that lets users control lights, fans, coffee makers and more via voice or automated routines.
The products will begin shipping next month, Amazon said.