Amazon Makes Shopping More Accessible And Convenient With Alexa-Powered List Sharing – Forbes
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Apropos of the holiday shopping season, Amazon on Tuesday announced a new Alexa feature whereby users can share shopping lists with other people only using their voice. As CNBC’s Todd Haselton reported, the functionality is useful not only for holiday gift-giving, but also everyday items like groceries.
Another significant benefit of this feature Haselton mentions is accessibility. For many people who are visually impaired, for instance, it may be easier to dictate a list of items from the supermarket and shared with someone than it is to manually write one. Likewise, for someone who’s cognitively delayed, using Alexa to make a list and send it on its way may be more accessible than writing a list. The accessibility benefit here, whether accommodating for visual and/or cognitive needs, is the virtual assistant acts true to its name. To wit, Alexa is literally assisting users in completing a necessary task in a more efficient and accessible manner.
Furthermore, in context of the coronavirus pandemic, the ability to “outsource” shopping needs can be a genuine lifeline for people with disabilities. Many disabled people cannot—or shouldn’t—mask up and trek outside for essentials, for mobility or other health-related reasons. Hence, the opportunity to have another person assist with a chore like this is worth its weight in gold. It is a prime example of voice-first computing being truly helpful and serving a greater good.
Lists are created in the Alexa app on iOS and Android; once a list is created and shared, the receiver gets a notification on their phone (and any Echo device) that a list has been sent. From there, they can view the list and purchase requested items.
The new shopping list feature is available now in Amazon’s Alexa app.
Published at Wed, 16 Dec 2020 21:22:09 +0000