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The Societal Benefits of Smart Speakers

Cathy Pearl
Apr 2, 2018 · 7 min read

Community

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Independence

“The Echo is definitely a game changer… You can get the information much faster, at least 10 times faster.” [Boules] often listens to TV programs, but before the Echo, had to rely on family members to navigate the TV guide and locate the program he wanted.

“I have a degenerative muscle wasting disease and echo is lifesaver… Something as simple as being able to turn on lights without asking someone is wonderful!”

“I used to have staff 24 hours every day and they would remind me if I needed to be anywhere, they would call me in the mornings and help me cook,” [Snell] said. “Echo has given me more independence, I don’t have to rely on staff so much now. It’s really easy to use…It helps me with my moods because I’m a lot happier now.”

“Most fun of all was setting up Alexa-to-Alexa messaging with two friends who have also started using this magical device. Alexa’s usual bright blue signal ring…shows bright greenish-yellow, and a bell rings…and one of my friends has left me a message. Yes, we could wait ’til we saw each other in the lobby. Yes, we could use the telephone. But there’s something so personal and private AND FUN about using Alexa. I haven’t had this much fun since we were kids and string a wire between two tin cans and played ‘telephone’.”

“My Dad is in his early eighties and living with Parkinson’s disease, so he spends most of his time shut in alone during the day. Unfortunately, communicating by text or email is impossible due to the disease, poor eyesight, and the usual difficulty older people have with technology.

Within days of getting him an Echo, his mood was vastly improved and he became much more engaged and communicative with the family. He loves feeling in-touch with the world again. He can listen to news, music, and get information without negotiating a keyboard or operating system.”

Companionship

VUI Magazine

Voice UI / UX, Design, Prototyping, Development, Amazon…

Cathy Pearl

Written by

Head of Conversation Design Outreach @ Google. Author of "Designing Voice User Interfaces" from O'Reilly (More at https://cathypearl.com)

VUI Magazine

Voice UI / UX, Design, Prototyping, Development, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Voice Assistants, and more.

Cathy Pearl

Written by

Head of Conversation Design Outreach @ Google. Author of "Designing Voice User Interfaces" from O'Reilly (More at https://cathypearl.com)

VUI Magazine

Voice UI / UX, Design, Prototyping, Development, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Voice Assistants, and more.

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