Atria Taps Alexa to Empower Senior Residents
Atria Senior Living has begun equipping its communities with Amazon Echo Shows, providing residents with a new level of convenience and control.
Coterie, a joint venture with Related Companies and Atria, will see the first installation of Amazon Echo Shows at its new Cathedral Hill luxury senior living community in San Francisco.
"The fact that Amazon is enabling fleet management of the Echo Show is a game-changer in senior living," said Atria Chief Technology Officer Chris Nall in a statement. "We're thrilled to have this tool that empowers residents without complicated equipment or confusing interfaces. For most folks, it doesn't get any simpler than just asking Alexa for what you want and having it happen."
At launch, Cathedral Hill residents will be able to use the Echo Shows to ask Alexa to help with all sorts of things just using their voice. They will be able to do the following:
- Adjust lights, blinds, and thermostats;
- Make phone and video calls to friends and family;
- Find out what's on the dining menu and event calendar; and
- Make calls to community staff and neighbors.
Cathedral Hill staff can also send messages into resident rooms as voice messages that Alexa reads aloud or as visual cards that appear on the screen of the Echo Show devices.
"Voice assistants are used by more than 60 million Americans, seniors included," Nall added. "We're enhancing Amazon's Alexa with special skills that radically improve the resident experience."
Atria is also using voice to layer on more safety measures. For example, Aiva is a supplement to an emergency call system including wearables and safety push buttons. If a resident falls too far from those devices, they can use Alexa to call the staff for help. And in the event of storms or earthquakes, staff will be able to broadcast messages and turn on lights throughout the community.
"Virtual assistants create such an immediate connection between people," said Sumeet Bhatia, Aiva's founder and CEO, in a statement "It really helps residents increase social interaction inside their community and with their friends and family outside."
The Echo Show devices also include most standard Alexa features, including access to information like the weather or sports scores, and entertainment like music and news, games, podcasts, relaxing sounds, and more. Alexa's conversational qualities can provide companionship, with some senior residents referring to her as a "friend" or "roommate."