Technologies like smart homes and voice assistants have amazing power to transform our lives and enhance our wellbeing.
We are building a voice skill for Amazon Alexa, called Kindspace, that people can use on a regular basis to become more aware of how they are feeling and how to improve their wellbeing. It includes a large library of supportive wellness tips and activities to try.
We are now looking to raise £1,500 to complete the build and testing of the Kindspace skill. This is your opportunity to help us launch this free resource and help people to access wellbeing support in the comfort of their own homes.
We want to create a world where smart meets kind®, where smart home and voice assistant technology is accessible to all regardless of age, ability or finances. This is even more important in modern times where technology is enabling us to live and work remotely, but there is also a worry that parts of our society are left behind, not able to access the benefits of new digital products and services.
While isolation reduces the risk of infection, it elevates anxiety and loneliness, it may also be difficult for people to get the support they need. Technology can also be daunting for people as there is so much choice of brands and devices, with each having specific ways of setting up and using the device or system.
Smart homes can help to address not only the immediate issue of isolation and shielding but also provide an opportunity for the future of social care by deploying voice assistants more widely. In order to do this, it needs support, guidance in a range of formats to educate and build confidence in the technology. This is the heart of our mission.
TL Tech are a smart home solution provider with a difference, who have taken the initiative to set up a service to support families and empower people to self-care by maintaining their physical and mental wellbeing using voice assistants. This service includes a suite of pictorial step-by-step help guides, weekly live Facebook tutorials, weekly newsletter, regular blog posts, short information videos and tip sheets. You can check out our video showcasing how Alexa can improve your wellbeing below and with this link.
Thomas Laurenson is the founder of TL Tech, a family business he runs together with his wife Caroline. Thomas is an expert problem solver, taking a hands-on approach to tasks and looking for creative ways to improve the lives of elderly and disabled people with readily available consumer electronic technology.
The work that we do has shown us the huge potential to redefine the role of the smart home, from something that primarily is seen as providing entertainment, security and convenience to a home that cares for you as you age.
A key interface point to this caring home is voice assistants, which can be used not only to send commands and answer questions, but can through conversations help identify issues such as loneliness.
TL Tech are building a bespoke Amazon Alexa Skill (a skill is like an app for a mobile phone, it provides the device with additional functionality) that will perform a daily wellbeing check-in and can help signpost people to support based on their responses. This innovative solution could replace the basic call button/pagers that are currently used in telecare systems, which give only binary responses and little context around the situation.
The skill is called Kindspace and is designed to be inclusive, so that anyone can use it to enhance their wellbeing and better self-manage their care.
"Tracking and improving your wellbeing has never been smarter or so easy with the Kindspace Alexa skill. The aim of this skill is to help you to become more aware of how you are feeling by monitoring key wellbeing indicators. Armed with this information you can then implement small changes which will enrich your life."
The money we raise will help us to complete the build and testing of our free Amazon Alexa Kindspace skill.
The next step will be marketing to raise awareness of this free resource and working with families and care providers to further enhance the functionality of the skill. We have even bigger plans to develop a cloud-based platform where people can link up their existing smart home devices to better monitor their wellbeing, a bit like turning your whole house into a Fitbit.
You can find out more about the Kindspace Alexa skill here.
Your donation means a lot to us, we have a range of rewards to say thank you, including early access to our Kindspace skill and our limited edition Kindspace mascots. It would mean a lot to us if you could share the details of our work on social media. Research into crowdfunding campaigns suggests that every share on social media really helps to boost the number of donations.
As you will have gathered, we are passionate about technology and sharing our knowledge, to boost people's confidence and open up opportunities for others.
The work we have been doing over the last few months has really pushed us out of our comfort zone, but with the support of others, including Abilitynet and Crowdfunder we've found the confidence to launch this campaign, something we never thought we would do!
Thomas Laurenson, our founder, is a finalist in this year's prestigious Abilitynet Tech4Good Awards for the Digital Volunteer Award that is sponsored by BT and Do IT. Your 'likes', 'shares' and 'donations' will help us to raise the funds that we need to launch our free Amazon Alexa Kindspace skill AND give us a shot at winning the Tech4Good People's Choice Award for the best crowdfunding campaign.