Solution: Inadvertent Screen Touches and Button Pushes

By: Frank Engelman.  Updated: January 07, 2022.

 

The Problem: Need Help Making Alexa Useful

I am setting up Alexa for my parent who lives at a distance. I am unsure what features to include, or how to set it up so it is as useful as possible..... More about the Problem


 

Solution: Inadvertent Screen Touches and Button Pushes

One of the Longevity Explorers found a problem when her mother (in a nursing home) kept inadvertebtly touching the screen of her Echo Show, disrupting the video call. Here is my solution to that problem.

Here is what the explorer said:

My mother, who is in a nursing home, keeps touching the Echo Show screen affecting our video calls

While your Amazon Echo Show has been great for your loved one for Alexa Video calls, sometimes they inadvertently touch icons on the screen or press buttons that may cause a problem. For example, if they mistakenly touch the “Do Not Disturb” icon, you will get a message when you try to call that they are in a Do Not Disturb mode or unavailable. While you can remotely log into their account using your Alexa app to turn this back off, it takes some time to do that.

Other common issues are turning off the microphone or camera, touching physical buttons and the on-screen mute icon during an Alexa or Zoom call.

These inadvertent touches can ruin a family video call.

Currently Amazon does not offer a way to disable the touchscreen on the Echo Show nor a way to prevent the physical buttons from being pushed.

So what can I do to minimize these issues?

 

A "Shield" to Prevent Touching

I have not found any physical “shields” available for the Echo Show, so I decided to make one of my own:

 

echo show plus shield

Caption: Echo Show 8 with shield

 

Here is a video of my solution

 

 

plexiglass shield

Caption: Using a plexiglass 5*7” sheet

 

 

In my solution, I used a battery case to hold the Plexiglas for an 8” Echo Show, but there are also battery cases for the 5” Echo Show.

 

echo show case

Caption- empty Echo Show 8 case

A “battery case” for the Echo Show buttons and to hold the sheets in place.

 

 

fingernail file alexa buttons

Caption- Fingernail file covering buttons

 

 

supports

Caption- Showing supports for nail file

I used Alien tape to provide the fingernail file standoffs and to hold it in place (see the Kit List).

In my testing, one sheet was enough to stop the touches to be recognized by the touch screen with the screen remaining very visible.

To protect the physical buttons from being tapped, I used a thin wooden fingernail file inserted in the top cover with standoffs.

Please note that voice control operations and Alexa Routines were not impacted by this change.

If access to the buttons is required, the top of the battery case could be pulled back for access. In a similar manner, access to the touch screen is possible by temporarily removing the Plexiglas sheet.

Although the battery feature is not required, some loved ones might find it useful.

 

 

More Like This

This is part of a series of "Problems" and DIY Technology "Solutions" to the challenges faced by older adults, by Frank Engelman. 

 


 

Add your comments


 

*Disclosure: If you use the links above when you buy products we write about, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate or other affiliate program participant. This does not affect the price you pay.

Beyond this, we have no financial interest in the products discussed here, and this article is not sponsored or supported in any way by any product vendor. See How we Fund our Work.

 

 

Target customers & users: 
Caregivers for the aging
How important is it?: 
Moderate problem
Key words: