April Harris Jackson

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Assistants are nothing new. Siri, the first voice-activated assistant of its kind, was introduced in 2011. Can you believe it was that long ago? We can’t!

But even before that, there were other tools, including dictation, readers, and audio books. As time has progressed, they’ve gotten more advanced, becoming even more helpful than before. 

Here’s why you should consider using voice-activated assistants.

1. We’re Not Getting Any Younger

Baby boomers are moving into their 70s, 80s, and 90s. Even Gen Xers – once considered the younger generation to avoid at all costs – are now approaching their 50s and 60s. In fact, between 2015-2050, the older population is supposed to double, reaching 2.1 billion.

Baby boomers and Gen Xers are facing challenges that can be handled using devices that weren’t available to them (or, at the very least, weren’t in widespread use) when they were younger. Fun fact: April, a young Gen Xer/elder millennial, didn’t get her first cell phone until she went off to college at 18 years old!

2. You Want to Stay in Your Home

You’re already living successfully in your own home. You have independence. And Alexa (or Siri, or the bot of your choosing) can help it stay that way. 

If you’re concerned that your kids will want to put you in an assisted living facility, a great way to keep the ball in your court is to invest in smart devices. Why? Because you can say, “If I need anything, I can ask Alexa.”

With the help of a smart device (or multiple smart devices), you can age gracefully in your own home without ever truly being “alone.” 

3. Help with Your Daily Tasks 

Your day-to-day routine can even be improved with the help of AI. There’s a huge cognitive burden on adults – no matter their age – that can be lifted by using these tools to help remember things.

You can:

  • Set reminders for medication
  • Get reminders for doctor’s appointments
  • Enjoy weather and news updates
  • Let Siri provide activity suggestions

4. Safety for Those with Mobility Issues

Younger people with mobility issues, vision challenges, etc. can be helped by voice-activated devices as well. Since all you need is your voice and a minimal investment on the device itself, you can easily access the help you need, whether it’s to call a family member when you fall down or simply want an audible answer to a question so you don’t have to squint to read the answer!

5. It Can Help You Feel Less Alone

Need someone to talk to? Alexa’s got jokes. (April says they’re terrible, but if you love to hear corny jokes, it might be right up your alley.)

A feature that April does love is that her Echo Show enables her to send pictures of her dogs to her parents. It cycles through the most recently liked photos and sends them along to her family!

6. It’s Fun and Convenient to Use

Are you tired of looking for your remote? Then use Alexa! Want to listen to your favorite obscure musician from the 1920’s? Your grandkids may roll their eyes, but Alexa will be happy to put those tunes on repeat for you. Though you’ll probably start out with a voice-activated assistant for safety reasons, you’ll probably begin using it for fun after a while!

7. Protect Your Home Even if You’re Not In It

Last month, we enjoyed the time of the year when we celebrate a spunky towheaded kid who single-handedly protects his home after being left behind while his family went on Christmas vacation. 

The whole disaster could have been avoided if we had voice-activated assistants in the 90s. Even if his parents didn’t use Alexa to communicate with their son, the kid would have had a much easier time tricking the would-be robbers, using Alexa to turn on the lights, turn on the music, and more from the safety of a neighbor’s house.

(Though a movie about that probably would have been less fun to watch.)

8. Worried About Privacy? Consider This

Privacy concerns are one of the top reasons people don’t implement helpful devices like Google Assistant, Cortana, or Siri. But did you know that there are some workarounds that can help with this concern?

You can also set Alexa to delete data after 10 days, or mute the device while you’re not using it. 

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