How smart speakers can help older Australians

With the increasing popularity of smart speakers in Australia, older Australians may have received one for Christmas but be wondering how it can benefit them.

Fortunately, as part of its Be Connected program, the government’s eSafety program is offering a new online course on smart homes and cloud technology that will demystify smart speakers and show older Australians how to get the most out of it.

By 2019, just under six million Australians owned a smart speaker, with a quarter of these users over the age of 55.

eSafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant said that there was much potential for smart home technology to assist older Australians around the home.

“Smart speakers offer a lot of convenience for older Australians but also, importantly, they can help seniors who may be mobility or vision impaired,” she said. “Just by using their voice, they can make appointments, get the latest news and weather updates and more.

“By 2025, it is estimated that over four million Australians will be using smart speakers, so this is technology that is becoming increasingly common and beneficial to many older Australians.”

The Be Connected course explains smart technology, how to set up a smart speaker and use voice control as well as a wide variety of tasks such as setting reminders and even searching for recipes.

The course also shows learners what cloud technology is, how to get started and use it safely.

Older Australians can protect their safety and privacy when using smart speakers with guidance in the course on passwords, using the ‘Microphone off’ switch and more.

The smart homes and cloud technology course is available free on the Be Connected website.

Some of the most important recommendations with regard to connecting a new device to the internet in your home include immediately changing the default password, checking the features for privacy risks and reading the terms and conditions, according to the Internet of Things Alliance Australia (IoTAA).

Did you receive a smart speaker for Christmas? Have you started using it yet? What are the main things you are using it for?

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Written by Ben Hocking

Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.

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