Smart speakers are definitely a plus. They help us get in touch with technology with ease, act as a home helper and turn out to be our friend in lonely times.
New research from Ofcom has shown that these smart devices can help users feel less lonely and help disabled people become more independent.
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The United Kingdom’s Office of Communications or Ofcom conducted an in-depth survey of 100 smart speaker owners and 15 non-owners. They found that a large number of survey participants reported that the speakers acted as a “companion” they could talk to.
“Some of them described their speaker as a companion, especially if they lived alone. They felt it was good to combat loneliness and liked the fact that they could talk to their speakers,” a Ofcom said on its website.
“Alexa, will it be a bright Christmas?”
Our new research looked at how people feel about smart speakers. They told us that smart speakers help them…
🧑🤝🧑 Coping with loneliness
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— Ofcom (@Ofcom) December 13, 2022
The organization found that during the pandemic, ownership of smart speakers in UK households doubled from 22 percent in 2020 to 39 percent in 2022.
A key finding is that these speakers helped people with disabilities to become more independent. Users reported that the device had a significant impact on their lives, giving them a greater sense of independence and “helping them manage – and even improve – their conditions and abilities.”
“It’s really the difference between maintaining independence around the house … my caregivers don’t have to keep getting up every five minutes. Like this evening, I was able to ask him to turn on these lights .Years ago, before I had that facility… I would have to ask people to do things manually,” said one such user.
On the flip side, however, people who don’t own the smart devices said they view smart speakers as a luxury or don’t understand the point of owning one. Some were even worried about being spied on, as many controversial theories claim that the devices can “listen in”.
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