A Great Gift for Older Parents!

I’m really excited about this spur of the moment gift that I bought for my mom. I’ve been a little worried about her because she lives alone so I was looking into “Life Alert”. I didn’t really like the price and my mom didn’t like the idea of using it.

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Then one day I was shopping for gifts on Amazon and I discovered the Echo Show. “Wow, this looks like it might work in an emergency AND be a fun gadget for my tech-loving mom!”, I thought. And the price was VERY good. So I bought it and yesterday I gave it to her and helped her set it up. We were able to connect it fairly easily to her Fire TV, connect her Ecobee thermostat, play music, get the weather, and make phone calls. And it can be paired with the Ring Doorbell and other security cameras and many other smart devices.

But the most important feature is that if my mom needs me she can say “Alexa, call Paula!” from across the room and it will call me. Now, I am not saying that this will be enough support for every situation, but I feel better knowing that she has it. I think it would be even better to have two or more of these set up in the house.

What is it and what can the Echo Show 8 (2nd gen) do?

Echo Show is like a visual monitor for Alexa. It’s a voice-activated assistant that connects to your Wifi-connected or Bluetooth devices such as TVs and Smart plugs and security cameras. It can also be used to make phone calls with audio and video. It can remind you of appointments, works as a timer, can tell you the weather, and you can ask Alexa questions. The camera can be turned off. It plugs into the wall so no charging is needed. It can also play music from streaming music sites such as Amazon and videos from YouTube, plus other channels such as Netflix. The speakers sound great. And the current price is very affordable.

I never thought I would be singing the praises of Alexa because it seemed like it was too privacy invasive. But I really am glad I bought this for my mom. I even downloaded the Alexa app on my phone.

How to Make a Video Call

In fact, you must use the Alexa app on your phone to make a video call a person who has an Echo Show. Make sure your parent is aware that the need to keep the Echo in the room they are in so they can accept calls. That is why I think having two would be handy. They also sell a battery device to make it semi-portable.

Tech specs:

7.9”x 5.4”x 3.9” (200mm x 135mm x 99mm)
36.6 oz (1037 grams) Actual size and weight may vary by manufacturing process.
8.0” touch screen
13 MP camera with built-in shutter (Photo quality/size may vary)
WiFi connectivity
Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks. Does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
Bluetooth connectivity
Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from your mobile device to Echo Show 8 or from Echo Show 8 to your Bluetooth speaker. Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) for voice control of connected mobile devices. Hands-free voice control is not supported for Mac OS X devices. Bluetooth speakers requiring PIN codes are not supported.
2.0” (52 mm) neodymium speakers with passive bass radiator.
System requirements
Echo Show 8 comes ready to connect to your WiFi. The Alexa app is compatible with Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices and also accessible via your web browser. Supported operating systems. Certain skills and services may require subscription or other fees.
Setup technology
Amazon WiFi simple setup enables customers to connect smart devices to their WiFi network in a few easy steps. WiFi simple setup is another way Alexa is always getting smarter. Learn more about frustration-free setup.
MediaTek MT 8183
Accessibility features
On Echo devices with screens, you can enable Alexa captioning and closed captioning, magnify the screen, toggle color inversion, and choose between color correction options. You can also enable the VoiceView screen reader to use gestures to navigate the screen and hear spoken feedback about the items you select. Learn more about Echo with a screen accessibility and Alexa accessibility.

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