According to foreign media reports, Amazon today (November 11 local time) announced a new set of features designed to make its Alexa device more useful for the elderly. Care hub – an additional option added to the Alexa mobile app that allows family members to keep an eye on their older parents and relatives, get information about their activities with the consent of the person concerned and issue a warning in case of a call for help. < / P > < p > the company says the idea behind care hub is to reassure family members who care about the health of the elderly, while keeping them independent. < / P > < p > this is not a novel use case for Alexa devices. Through third-party providers, these devices have been used in elderly life centers and other care facilities. < / P > < p > Amazon stressed that while families will be able to monitor Alexa usage by their loved ones, it will respect their privacy and will not provide specific information. For example, although a family member can see their parents playing music, it doesn’t say which song is playing. All activities are displayed by category. < / P > < p > If a family member calls for help, family members designated as emergency contacts can visit them through care hub or contact the emergency service center. < / P > < p > these new features are dual choice, which means that both family members and their loved ones need to first establish contact between their Alexa accounts through the invitation program. This can be started with the new care hub feature in the Alexa app and confirmed by SMS or email. < / P > < p > this seems to be a reasonable privacy protection measure, but in fact, many older people either struggle with technology or tend to avoid it. Even seemingly simple things like using a smartphone, email, or text messaging can sometimes be a challenge for them. < / P > < p > this means that family members can unknowingly access another person’s account or invent an e-mail for this purpose as a “parent’s email” to establish a care hub system. Or they can mislead their parents by saying they’re helping their parents install a new Alexa device, and then say, “Oh, can I borrow your phone to confirm the settings?” < / P > < p > in order to protect users’ privacy, care hub also has an option to regularly ask users whether to continue to be monitored by this feature, and it will remind users that the monitoring option is still on through Alexa’s mobile app. < / P > < p > of course, there are bound to be people who are happy to see the elderly connected to the whole family in this way, especially if they are far away from their families or feel lonely because of the new crown epidemic. < p > < p > Amazon says care hub is being launched in the United States. The company said it would learn from customer feedback and expand the feature set over time. SpaceX beat blue origin and Northrop Grumman to win a $316 million air force contract