Alexa Together is a unique and unique piece of software available to anyone with an Echo device. Developed as a way to support loved ones who live in different homes, this service is an affordable way to provide remote care to older family members. Alexa Together is a surprisingly versatile platform — and since it’s built on the standard Echo operating system, it’s remarkably easy to use.
Available through the Alexa app and activated with just one Echo device, Alexa Together provides real-time activity monitoring and alerts for caregivers, along with a number of Remote Assist functions, such as the ability to create reminders and set up streaming services for loved ones.
There’s a lot Alexa Together can do, and we’ve put together this article to help you understand the basics of the platform, how to set up and activate the service, and how to use some of Alexa Together’s go-to features.
How much does Alexa Together cost?
After a free 30-day trial of Alexa Together, subscribers can sign up for either $20 per month or an annual membership for $200. Amazon also offers a bundle that gets you the Echo Show 8 and a free trial of Alexa Together for $130.
What equipment do you need?
Outside of the reliable Wi-Fi connection of the person receiving telecare, the only device they’ll need is the Alexa app and one Echo device — preferably echo show, so caregivers and support circle contacts can use features like Drop In to remotely check-in to loved ones through a video call. For best results, though, it’s ideal to have a group of Echo devices scattered around a customer’s home — that way, your loved ones can easily interact with Alexa without having to move to a specific part of their home.
Ideally, caregivers will also have an Alexa device eg echo show for Drop In purposes, but the only thing they really need is access to the Alexa app.
How do you set up Alexa Together?
In order to use Alexa Together, both the loved one and caregiver will need to create and link two separate Amazon.com accounts to the same Alexa Together subscription. If your loved one is unable to create an account themselves, you can always create one on their behalf. The customer will also need one Echo device to use the plan, which you can also set up and activate if your loved one doesn’t have the ability to do so.
Simply purchase any device you’d like to have and have it shipped to your address for setup, and be sure to choose the gift option during checkout to ensure your Echo isn’t automatically linked to your Amazon account.
Once you receive your loved one’s Echo device, the setup process is almost the same as activating a non-Alexa Together Echo product, but with two exceptions: You’ll sign into the device with your loved one’s Amazon account, and you’ll be adding Wi-Fi information of your loved one to your Echo product without physically connecting to it.
To do this, after the initial setup, go to settings and choose Network > Add NetworkAnd Then enter your loved one’s network information and select Memorizes.
Once your loved one receives their Echo device, the only thing left to do is activate the Alexa Together plan. To begin the process, head over to the Alexa Together page. Select a file Start a free 30-day trial button, after which you will be prompted to enter payment information for the plan. Next, choose Activate Alexa together.
On the next screen, you will need to indicate if you are the carer or the person receiving support. Assuming you’re the caregiver, you’ll then be prompted to enter your loved one’s name and an Amazon email address to send them an Alexa Together invitation. They will then need to open this email on their end, where they will be asked to confirm some basic information and provide an address to the Urgent Response staff (more on that later).
What are some of the Alexa Together features?
Now that we’ve gone over the Alexa Together basics in terms of cost, equipment, and general setup, let’s take a look at some of the platform’s most useful features and how you and your loved ones can use them.
Customizable activity feed and alerts
One of the biggest peace-of-mind capabilities of the Alexa Together suite is the ability to know your loved ones are on standby. This assurance is gained through a live activity monitoring dashboard designed to give privacy and independence to the individual receiving care but also to give a signal to the caregiver that daily life is continuing as normal.
Let’s say your older dad usually wakes up and starts his day around 8am every morning. If your loved one remembers to say “Alexa, good morning” to their Echo Show each morning, Alexa will add that Echo interaction to their shared Alexa Together activity feed. And if they can use a friendly reminder to say “good morning” to Alexa, you can easily set up a reminder for them.
To do this, head over to the Alexa Together dashboard in the Alexa app and select Alexa Tips > Learn more > Create a reminder. You can also create reminders on the Remote Assistance page (more on this below) by selecting Reminders > Add a reminder. From here, you’ll be able to customize when the reminder occurs, on what date, and how often it repeats.
Now, suppose there is no activity reported with Alexa after the agreed upon time of 8 AM. At the event, Alexa Together will sound an alert to the caregiver’s Alexa app, letting them know that their loved one hasn’t used their Echo device yet, along with the option to connect using a Drop In or a regular call.
The Activity Dashboard will record all kinds of Alexa and third-party smart device interactions, such as launching a music streaming service, detecting motion by a home camera or motion sensor, and even activating contact sensors to let you know that someone in your household has opened the medicine cabinet to take their daily pills. And while all of these reporting parameters can be customized to only issue activity notifications during certain timeframes, Alexa Together will only provide general alerts to the caregiver. For example, if someone in your household asks Alexa to play a specific song using Spotify, Alexa Together will record that activity as entertainmentwithout reporting which song has already been played.
Caregivers will also be able to view activity notifications for a full day, along with sounds from previous days, by selecting View all activity.
Remote assistance capabilities
Under the Remote Assist dashboard, caregivers will have access to a range of Alexa Together features that will seamlessly integrate with their loved one’s Alexa ecosystem.
We’ve already covered Handy reminder A feature to create and customize one-time, infrequent, and daily reminders for Alexa to ping your loved one’s Echo device. the Contacts The Caregiver tab allows you to add friends and family members to your Alexa Together contact history and support circle. Echo device settings will allow you to customize different elements of your Alexa Together-enabled Echo equipment, while Voice Responses will let you adjust how Alexa is heard and interacted with by your loved one.
Shopping List lets you create, add, and remove items from a shared shopping list, just like a normal Alexa shopping list capability, and Music and Podcasts will allow you to set up and manage various streaming services that your loved ones can access through an Echo device.
While the main Alexa Together subscription is shared between one customer and one caregiver, the latter will be able to add additional friends and family to their emergency contact list, which is described as their circle of support. This will allow Alexa Together to issue activity notifications and alerts to a group of contacts besides the primary caregiver, along with call and drop capabilities (when and where possible) to communicate with loved ones in the event of an emergency.
At this time, you can add up to 10 contacts from your support circle to the Alexa Together plan.
Emergency services and fall detection around the clock
As part of an Alexa Together subscription, your loved ones will have access to emergency dispatchers 24/7. Your loved ones can easily access the IRU when calling the platform with a simple “Alexa, call for help” command, which will automatically ping the caregiver and circle of contacts with a notification indicating that the IRT has been called.
Additionally, you can link a number of third-party fall detection products to Alexa Together, including devices from companies like Vayyar, SkyAngelCare, and Altumview. If a fall is actually detected, you will be notified immediately, and your loved one will be able to contact our immediate response team and support circle contacts.
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