I’ve written in the past about my Echo Show from Amazon Alexa, but I wanted to provide further updates on how this device is helping me in my daily life. At the time of writing this, Skynet still hasn’t achieved total world domination, so I’m still OK using this piece of insane sci-fi tech.
In addition to my Echo Show, my parents also have an Echo Dot that they keep in our kitchen. This is extremely helpful, as my room is on the other side of the house and my parents spend a lot of time in the living room right next to the kitchen. If I’m back in my room and I need help moving my hand or reaching something, I can call my parents through my Echo Show, and they can answer the call through their Echo Dot.
In the past, I would either have to yell loudly or text, which is often a struggle as my arms are pretty worn out by the end of the day. Even something as simple as moving my hand a few inches to reach my phone can be a challenge and requires me to use a substantial amount of energy. With our Alexa devices always on and incredibly easy for me to use, calling my parents for help is now much more feasible.
My Echo Show also makes it easier for me to do video chats with friends. I have Skype and FaceTime on my phone, but it’s difficult for me to hold my phone up to see the screen when I’m trying to do a video call. I also don’t have a laptop of my own, as I can’t type on a keyboard. Instead, I do all of my work on my phone and iPad.
With my Echo Show, however, I’m able to do video chats with friends whenever I want. A close friend of mine from college lives in Washington, D.C. now, and we were able to do a video chat recently after she downloaded the Amazon Alexa app on her phone. I use this same system to talk with my podcast co-host during the week.
My Alexa device also came in handy recently when I was sick. During this time, my energy was drained to the point that I could barely press the buttons to open up my Netflix account. I spent many hours in my chair with a blanket over me and a cup propped up for me to spit in. About the only thing I could do without the help of my parents or caregiver was listen to podcasts and stream shows on my Echo Show. Needless to say, I did a lot of this.
The technologies available today are pretty remarkable, especially for those of us who practically live like cyborgs. Until the day that Amazon turns into a tyrannical global superpower and has Terminator death machines roaming the streets, I’m happy to continue using their Alexa devices.
If you or someone you know who has SMA and could benefit from an Amazon Alexa device, check out the SMA News Today forum page for information about our Echo Dot giveaway. This contest will run through the second week in April, and you can find all the information here.
Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.