Amazon Echo can now proudly call itself as one of Saturday Night Live's subjects for a skit — a very funny one at that.
The skit argues that modern technology isn't always friendly to old folks. So comes the Amazon Echo Silver, an Amazon Echo designed for the elderly. The short sketch runs through many of the device's features, which target the seemingly frail qualities that old age brings.
In one scene, for instance, an old woman asks the Amazon Echo Silver where the phone is. Thanks to the device's quick scan feature, it's able to know that the phone is "in your right hand." The whole bit is tongue-in-cheek, to be clear, but it still does a great deal of depicting the typical clash of newfangled modern tech and senior citizens, who often can't properly interact with a smartphone, let alone an intelligent, voice-enabled digital assistant.
The device's design doesn't stray far from the original Echo — outfitted with a wooden material and accented with a silver mesh on the bottom part, peppered with holes to truly hone the vintage aesthetic.
Amazon Echo Silver Features
Here are its marquee features: it's extremely loud, it responds to any name that remotely resembles "Alexa," and it even has an "uh huh" feature, which the skit explains is the device's go-to response for times when the owner enters long and rambling monologues. The skit clearly exploits the stereotypes of old people comedic effect, including their behavior and their difficulty using tech. But for the record, there are companies working on Amazon Echo-like devices that are specifically for the elderly.
It's worth noting that the way Alexa responds makes the skit even funnier, since you can pinpoint the sass in her voice when dealing with an old man's ramblings, for example, or doubting herself over calling jazz "black jazz," as commanded by another old man in one scene. While the skit isn't 100 percent correct and needless to say that it shouldn't pass off as a general representation of old folks, it does show that age differences tend to render miscommunication, with "Alexa" in the skit representing younger folk, it seems.
Aimed at the "greatest generation," the Amazon Echo Silver is available in "three easy payments of $9.99," capping the skit off with a searing comedic punchline.
All jokes aside, isn't it well within Amazon's rationale to make an Echo device for the elderly, especially if it's releasing several Echo spin-offs to cater to every possible niche? The Echo Look, for instance, caters to those who want to look fashionable. Making a device targeting the older generation casts a wider net, wouldn't you think? Amazon itself even acknowledged the Echo Silver, so anything can happen, folks.
Amazon Echo Show
In other Amazon Echo-related news, Amazon just recently unveiled the Echo Show, a wedge-shaped smart speaker with a 7-inch touchscreen. Like the Echo range of devices before it, the Echo Show is also packed with Alexa, Amazon's digital assistant that can respond to many different commands. Having a screen bumps the Echo Show's functionality up by several notches, since many often argue that the lack of a screen is one of the primary problems of smart speakers.