Using Your Voice Assistant

We’ve written a short blog about using voice assistants. Everything in bold is a skill your voice assistant can do. Give it a try by saying the wake word of your voice assistant (“Alexa” or “Hey Google”) and then the bits in bold below! 

Having a voice assistant may seem like a space age futuristic bit of technology to some, but they are increasingly becoming a part of our daily lives rising from 20% use in household in the UK in 2019, up to 50% in 2021. Using a voice assistant may seem a bit daunting but we’re here to let you know how you can best use your voice assistant to support you and your loved ones. 

When we were working with people to see how technology could support them, one of the things people consistently wanted support with was maintaining their independence. A voice assistant can be a useful tool to support this. We can all get forgetful every now and then, but with a voice assistant you can set reminders, manage and receive notifications of appointments in your calendar and set alarms and timers. This way you can stay on top of daily tasks as independently as possible!  

This can also be important in terms of staying safe. With a voice assistant you can set reminders for medication or if you need a wee nudge to take a drink of water every so often. This will help you keep on top of your wellbeing.  

You can also create shopping lists and to-do lists to help you keep on top of things. A really cool feature of voice assistants is that you can set a routine whereby the assistant carries out certain tasks at certain times. For example, at 8am (depending if you prefer a lie-in!) your voice assistant can tell you the date and time, new headlines and start playing your favourite radio station to help you start the day right! 

An important feature that often gets overlooked is the ability to contact people. With voice assistants you can call, text and video call (depending on the type of model) your loved ones to help you stay in touch with them. It is so simple and means that you don’t have to faff around with mobiles and telephone numbers. There is also a drop in function which means even if you are not so confident calling out with your voice assistant, as long as certain people have the right permissions, they are able to call in to your voice assistant and speak to you directly, without you having to do anything like answer the call. This is really helpful if you have a loved one who you maybe struggle to stay in contact with. With a voice assistant you are also able to call for help if you are in trouble either to a loved one or the emergency services. 

We can also have fun with our voice assistants! They are a fountain of knowledge and can answer any questions on trivia or your favourite celebrities or sporting heroes. They can play music, audiobooks, podcasts and radio. A lot of people ask their voice assistants for information on the weather to help you plan your day and they can be very good (or bad depending on your humour) at telling jokes. Voice assistants can talk you through a workout or meditation and can play relaxing sounds which can be great for people with sensory issues. We have found playing music through voice assistants can be a great way to deescalate situations to promote positive behaviour. 

Overall voice assistants are a great help around the house and can help people feel more independent and safe, and keep them busy and connected with loved ones.  

Last Updated on 25th January 2024 by Shanice