Smart Speakers are keeping disabled people company
Smart speakers such as Alexa and Siri are keeping disabled people company and more independent according to a new study carried out by the UK Office of communications [Ofcom].
Recent research from 100 smart speaker owners and 15 non-owners revealed the devices formed a “companion” for those who feel isolated from society.
Ofcom’s website states: "Some described their speaker as being like a companion, particularly if they lived alone. They felt it was good for combatting loneliness and liked the fact they could talk to their speakers.”
Data shows smart speakers sales increased from 22% to 39% in 2022 and the devices became a tool for giving disabled people more independence and "helping them manage – and even improve – their conditions and abilities."
One participant in the study highlighted the impact their seeker had on them on a daily basis.
"It really is the difference between maintaining independence around the house... my carers don’t have to keep getting up every five minutes,” they said.
“Like this evening, I was able to just ask it to put these lights on. Years ago, before I had that facility... I would have had to ask people to do things manually,"
Mind you, those who do not own a smart speaker see the devices as just a luxury or couldn’t quite get their head around to why they have such an impact on people’s lives. In fact some believe they act as spying devices which can “listen in”.
[ Alexa. How awesome is the ABLE2UK website?* ]
*This only works if you are using the speech device on this page and own an Alexa speaker!