SF Explorers use Amazon Echo Show to Reach Across the Country

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from: Longevity Explorers | Sequoias SF, SF Village

Discussion Summary

The San Francisco Longevity Explorers participate in a cross country video call demonstration using Alexa and an Amazon Echo Show.

The video call is initiated by facilitator Richard Caro asking 'Alexa' to call explorer Peter Balsamo, who lives in Athens, Georgia. Via the Echo Show, the explorers can see and hear Peter and he can see the room full of meeting attendees.


Peter describes his own usage of the Echo Show, including:

  • 'Ring' doorbell video and sound access 
  • Control lights in his home
  • Timers
  • Alarms

The Longevity Explorers | SF discuss the various questions and requests for information they use with their Alexa product at home, and the issue of privacy is raised. Common uses include:

  • Movie playlists and showtimes
  • Time of day
  • News and weather
  • Reordering previously purchased Amazon Prime merchandise 


The Longevity Explorers in this conversation feel one of the chief benefits of the device is the ease of initiating calls - offering a simple method to communicate with family members using only voice control.

The optional 'Drop-in' feature is also demonstrated, although there are members who are shy of being 'dropped in' on for privacy reasons, and several pretty negative reactions to the whole idea of "dropping in".

Other questions arise about setup and how the interface works between the Echo and other home devices such as appliances or lights. Too, Peter suggests that a local Athens, GA, group may speak with the SF Longevity Explorers via Show video calling in the future.

Questions arise which require further investigation: What security and authentication protocols exist to prevent hacking? Contacts for calling can be selectively entered, but there is a question as to whether contacts can be removed.  

The consensus is that long distance family 'check in' seems the most widely valued feature, while setup and privacy are the chief concerns.


Learn More:

Read our synthesis of all our explorer discussions about the Amazon Echo and Alexa: 


View Alexa and the Amazon Echo Show on Amazon.






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Key words: 
Amazon Echo, Echo Show, communication apps, easy communication device