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09 November 2018 by Ben Trill

Voice technology: assisting the elderly

Voice technology: assisting the elderly

One thing is certain in life, we all get old. Age brings wisdom but it can also carry things that make life just that little bit harder. How can we use voice technology to enhance the lives of those when they need it the most?

Traditionally the elderly have struggled to engage with computers but the adoption of a voice device has been more successful due to its simplicity and intuitiveness.

Whether it’s a Google Home or Amazon Echo, voice recognition devices are now affordable for most people and are making their way into our homes and daily lives.  Such devices have been around in different guises for a couple of decades, but in the last 3 years we have seen an increase in the usefulness and reliability of such products.

Reading, remembering and writing

There are a number of ways that quality of life can be improved using voice technology.

For those experiencing sight loss; news, books and SMS messages can be read and replies sent in the same way that a conversation happens.

Deterioration in dexterity is another common complaint. One simple voice command can trigger a series of events in a home. Saying “Good Morning Alexa” can set the lights to come on, an SMS to be sent to a loved one, the blinds to open in the lounge, read a weather update and finally remind you of any events that might be in the diary for that day.

It’s an unfortunate fact that around 1 in 3 of us will suffer from dementia at some point in our lifetime. Google Home can manage a task/shopping list that can be repeated as many times as required. This could result in the elderly person not feeling that they are being such a burden on someone.

It’s good to talk

As British Telecom once said, it’s good to talk and the older generation still love to connect. Not just to alleviate loneliness but also in a practical sense of safety, knowing that they can use their voice to make an emergency call incase of a fall or an emergency, gives peace of mind to family and friends.

Voice is a really powerful tool. Come and find out why voice matters at our next event on 29th November in London.

Fable - Say that again? -