You have probably heard the names “Siri” and “Alexa” bantered about and wondered why these two women are so popular. Well, they aren’t real women, but rather the names given to the voices on two virtual assistant devices operated by artificial intelligence.
Siri is the voice on the Apple device and Alexa speaks for the Amazon Echo system and each can do some pretty amazing things. Other similar devices include Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Home, and some with specialized purposes like those described in the unite.ai article, “10 Best AI Assistants.”
At their most basic, virtual AI assistants let you ask questions to get information you need without having to look it up. They can perform some very basic commands like “Hey Alexa, what time is it?” as well as more complex ones like “Hey Siri, what Major League Baseball pitcher had the most strikeouts in the 1980 regular season.”
But that is just the tip of the AI iceberg! Here are some tech tips for seniors to get the most from AI.
Let it entertain you
One of the best tech tips for seniors is to let AI entertain you with anything from playing songs, to podcasts to TV shows. When allowed to interact with apps like Pandora, Audible, and others you can instantly access your playlists to lighten the mood or listen to your Audible book while relaxing. For a rundown of what each has to offer check out the amazon.com article, “Alexa Entertainment,” and for Siri, try “Use Siri to play music and podcasts.”
Just for fun try another of the tech tips for seniors and ask a virtual assistant simple questions that elicit hilarious responses. With Alexa these preloaded responses are widely known as “Alexa Easter Eggs” and among them are “Alexa, I want the truth” for which the response is “You can’t handle the truth,” or “Alexa, surely you can’t be serious,” followed by “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.” For more fun questions read the ittvis.com article, “Funny Alexa Commands and Things to Ask Alexa That Will Make You Laugh” or the digitaltrends.com article “Funniest questions to ask Siri.”
Make life easier
Putting a virtual assistant to work making life easier is another of the best tech tips for seniors. Using virtual assistants with smart appliances you can now change the temperature of your refrigerator or freezer, set your oven to turn on at a certain temperature and turn it off, add 30 seconds to your microwave, or check the status of your dishwasher, to name a few.
Virtual assistants can also help out with other smart appliances and gadgets to control lighting, cook in a Hot Pot, make toast, change lighting, and vacuum your home. Learn more about what’s available right now in the hiconsumption.com article, “The 15 Best Smart Appliances For Your Home in 2022.”
Special uses for seniors
Virtual assistants can also play a role in keeping seniors healthy, well-informed and connected, so another of the tech tips for seniors is to use all the features available. For example, virtual assistants can schedule medication reminders, lock and unlock doors, turn lights on and off, and turn the heat up or down. These are especially great for seniors who have mobility limitations, arthritis or other physical problems.
For many seniors with vision problems another of the best tech tips for seniors is to use the voice recognition capabilities to make phone calls and even turn up the speaker volume if they are hard of hearing. Other great uses are to get reminders for appointments and events, answer text messages, get weather reports, and receive prompts to exercise. For a look at even more ways to use a virtual assistant, read the AARP article, “Getting the Most Out of Your Smart Speaker.”
Do the research
Perhaps the most important of all tech tips for seniors is that all virtual assistants are not created equal. Some need additional devices to achieve everything you need, and/or have additional costs associated for monthly service fees. As a result, an essential on the list of tech tips for seniors is to research all the options before making a purchase. Keep in mind that these devices are not plug-and-play and will require a bit of tech savvy to make them work well. To get started, checkout the techengage.com article, “Top 10 best virtual assistants 2022.”
These are just a few tech tips for seniors to make life easier through digital technology. Life can also be easier and much more fun in a senior living community like Sonrisa Senior Living. Download our free Guide to Aging Well to learn more about the habits of the “super agers” around the world. Contact us today to find out more about luxury senior living at Sonrisa and schedule a tour!