By: Frank Engelman | Posted: May 20, 2022 | Updated: April 18, 2023
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The Problem to be Solved
Lately, I have noticed that my short term memory is worsening. It happens most often while at home. I may go from one room to another to fetch something, and by the time I get there, I’ve forgotten what it is I’m fetching (or even that I am fetching anything). This may happen at any time during the day, even while I am driving (and presumably focussing). The result is that the day becomes more stressful as it progresses, since I am constantly having to stop mid-way through tasks to remember what it is I’m supposed to be doing instead.
As we age, we tend to forget not only where we leave physical items or upcoming events, but also important memories such as names, past events, and locations. I found ways Alexa can help with that.
As we age, we tend to forget not only where we leave physical items or upcoming events, but also important memories such as names, past events, and locations.
I found ways Alexa can help with that.
Remember This: Beyond Reminders & Tags
While there are ways to use Alexa to help your loved one find physical things such as their phone by saying “Alexa, find my phone” and causing the phone to ring, or “Alexa, find my purse” and having a Tile tag ring, non-physical things such as memories also may benefit from using Alexa.
Alexa has a built-in feature called “Remember this” that may prove useful in recovering these memories.
This is different from the daily reminders on a calendar or other automated notifications of UPCOMING events, as these “memories” are of PAST events and can be recalled by Alexa when your loved one asks for them.
For example, your loved one may forget important dates, names, or even the location of past events. Alexa’s “Remember This” feature could be useful in helping in jogging the veteran’s memory.
Here is a Video with “Remembering” Examples
Is This a New Feature?
Although the Alexa “Remember this” feature has been around since 2018, it recently was upgraded to add “sticky notes” that look like Post It Notes on your Echo Show screen.
If you have an Echo Show 15, these will be “pinned“ to your screen, even if you have not enabled the Sticky Notes widget
Caption- Pinned Sticky notes on Echo Show 8
If you are using an Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, or Echo Show 10, you will now see a display of the sticky notes in addition to your normal “Home Content” rotating display. If you want to suppress that display, you can “unpin” each sticky note.
Do NOT delete them, as Alexa will lose that memory
OK, How Do I Use It? The Commands
While most reviewers of this feature suggest the following commands…
- ”Alexa, remember that…”
- “Alexa, what do you remember about…?”
I have found that Alexa will sometimes think you are referring to a song, movie, or public information when you ask for the memory
I have found that using the keyword “Note” is more dependable than “Remember” and Alexa will ask you to confirm the note.
- “Alexa, take a note”
- Alexa will guide you through what you want to save and read it back to you
- “Alexa, what are my notes?”
- “Alexa, what are my notes about…?” (If asking about a specific topic)
Caption- Asking for all notes
For example, saving a memory:
- “Alexa, take a note”
- “My brother’s name is Ken”
- “Alexa, take a note that my brother Ken lives in Oregon”
(Try to make the memory as specific as possible to aid Alexa in recovery)
You can always get a complete list of things that Alexa has remembered by saying:
- “Alexa, what are my notes?”
For example, recovering a specific memory:
- “Alexa, what are my notes about my brother”
My Mom is Still Having Problems Asking Alexa for her Memories
Here is something that you can try to make it easier for her by using Alexa Custom Actions.
This feature allows several unique spoken commands to generate the same command to Alexa. You will need to listen to her asking the questions to find good commands to enter them into this Alexa Routine.
You will need to log into your Mom’s Amazon account on your mobile phone using the Alexa app to create these Routines. You can even do this if she is at a different location.
For Example, your mom might say:
- “Alexa, what is my sister’s name?
- “Alexa, where does my sister live?
- “Alexa, tell me about my sister”
All these commands are translated into:
- “Alexa, what are my notes about my sister?”
Caption- Sample Alexa Routine with Custom Action
Tips & Tricks
- Although it may seem difficult having to say a specific phrase to save & restore a memory, please note that Alexa must analyze your spoken commands to determine if you are looking for general information, music, or streaming entertainment when you speak EACH command.
- Adding a new note will make it sticky.
- Only 3 sticky notes can show at a time (pinned) on a non-Echo Show 15 device
- You can also save notes on devices without a screen such as an Echo Dot or even the Alexa app on your phone. These notes can be played back on your Echo Dot or mobile phone using the Alexa app.
*Disclosure: The research and opinions in this article are those of the author, and may or may not reflect the official views of Tech-enhanced Life.
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