If you’ve already welcomed Alexa into your home, you probably can’t imagine life without her. But for the blind and partially sighted community, the latest Amazon Echo range of products and voice-controlled smart homes truly are life-changing.
Working with the RNIB
Our field team has been working closely with the Royal National Institute for the Blind and associated local blind charities to help bring the benefits to life for all those who might not be aware of them.
Working together with John Lewis in Birmingham, we held an afternoon-long seminar at their flagship store. The select group of attendees all had varying levels of visual impairment.
To kick the discussions off, we introduced some inspiring ‘real-world’ examples of how Amazon Echo products had impacted the life of blind and partially-sighted individuals. This encouraged our audience to think about how Alexa could work for them at home in ways they hadn’t considered before. This included tuning in radio stations, checking the weather and accessing train and bus timetables.
Our main presentation involved hands-on demonstrations of the products and small discussion groups followed with the specific aim of teasing out possible new benefits of the technology.
The afternoon flew past as we discussed timers and alarms, how to set reminders and update calendars, how to listen to music and podcasts, how to access audio books and how to enjoy even more control within the smart home.
One idea always seems to lead to another, so the more examples people hear, the more they can imagine further ways that Alexa can add value to their lives.
The feedback from the session was truly inspiring, and we are planning to repeat the exercise very soon before rolling the activity out nationally. From there, we’ll be developing a comms campaign specifically for the blind and visually impaired community to publicise the life-changing benefits of these off-the-shelf products. Watch this space for further developments…