Amazon’s Alexa caregiver service now allows custom alerts | Engadget


Amazon’s Alexa Together caregiver service is now more useful if you want to know a loved one’s specific activities. The company has added custom alerts that ping up to 10 caregivers when there’s particular smart home activity. You’ll know if the care receiver opened a sensor-equipped medicine cabinet, for instance, or whether the bedroom light turned on at the right time in the morning.

You can enable custom alerts through the “More” section in the Alexa App. Alexa Together costs $20 per month or $199 per year, and requires at least one Echo device for the person receiving support. It’s currently available only in the US and requires Amazon accounts for both the caregiver and the care recipient.

Alexa Together offers a number of remote aids, such as 24/7 urgent-care responses, remote assistance for features like reminders, and fall detection with compatible sensors. It was developed at the height of the pandemic, when in-person care was frequently impractical, but is also pitched as a way to grant independence to the elderly and others who might otherwise need physical check-ins.

It’s easy to imagine privacy concerns. If an intruder got access, they could learn when a family member leaves home or wakes up. Amazon notes that there are “multiple layers” of protection, however, including limited info in the activity feed and the power to revoke permission. It’s really a question of whether or not both sides of an Alexa Together setup are comfortable with the added level of detail.

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