Smart speakers: a new way that tech can help older Australians

With the increasing popularity of smart speakers in Australia, older Australians may have received one for Christmas but may be wondering how it can benefit them. eSafety has a new online course, Smart homes and cloud technology, as part of the Be Connected program, that will demystify smart home technology 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 a lot of potential for smart home technology to assist seniors 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.

The 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 for free on the Be Connected website.

Be Connected is an Australian government initiative committed to improving the online confidence, skills and safety of seniors. The Be Connected website, managed by eSafety, provides free information, learning modules and webinars designed to empower them to safely use the internet and digital technology. Be Connected also supports Australians to mentor older family members or friends so they can thrive online.


Background information:

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner promotes online safety education for Australian young people, educators and parents. It also provides a complaints mechanism for young people who experience serious cyberbullying, and for Australians to report illegal or offensive online content.

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