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Alexa Together review: keeping tabs on Dad

Every morning for the last four months, an alert has popped up on my phone between 4AM and 6AM, saying, “First activity of the day detected for Michael at 4:39 AM.” Thankfully, I don’t see it at that time. But later, when I’m actually awake and scrolling through my notifications, it’s a quick mental check telling me that my dad, who lives 300 miles away in Florida, is up and moving around.

In January, we started a trial of Alexa Together, a new $19.99 a month service from Amazon that uses its digital assistant to somewhat unobtrusively keep tabs on a consenting family member or loved one. Six months of the service comes bundled with the $130 Echo Show 8, or you can get a 6-month free trial if you already have an Echo device. Using cues from my father’s interactions with Echo speakers ...

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