Does this kind of webcam / speaker / microphone exist?

My Dad is old, and lives by himself. He’s doing OK, but I like to check in on him at least once a day. He has a cell phone, no home phone service.

Every once in a while, though, he forgets to get his phone from the bedroom in the morning. So then we spend all day trying to call him, hoping he hasn’t fallen or otherwise in trouble, and eventually someone has to go over there, check on him, and get his damn phone back in his pocket where it belongs. This isn’t a huge deal as me & other family members live close, but it’s still a bit of a hassle.

What I’m wondering is if there’s some kind of internetty thing I could put in his living room / kitchen are where I could talk through it and say “Hey Dad! Go get your damn phone!” and he could reply and I could hear. A webcam would be nice, too. I’m willing to spend a bit of $$ on this. Looking at Amazon, lots of these kinds of things are out there, but many get bad reviews. Does anyone have any direct experience? What should I look for?

Essentially, I need a two-way baby monitor for adults!

I take it you haven’t seen this ad.

Worth noting: if your loved one is the kind of person who will mindlessly tell a machine “Alexa, call home” because a note you wrote tells them to, please write the note thusly: “Make sure you’re dressed, then say ‘Alexa, call home.’” :slight_smile:

It won’t work if HE has to initiate it. Or really, do anything. I need something that I can pull up on my iPhone or computer, press a button, and have a microphone in his house blast out “HEY DAD GO GET YOUR DAMN PHONE.”

Ideally, he could reply just by talking. “Walk over to device, press a button, THEN talk” is not an option. (he’s hard of hearing, can walk OK but is very slow, and has neuropathy in his hands which makes pressing buttons, even big-ass buttons, difficult.)

My assumption with the product in the linked ad is that if “Grandma” can initiate the video call from her end, the video call can be initiated from the other end as well. It’s worth looking into, at least?

They make plenty of devices and phone apps where you can watch and talk to your pets while you are at work. I am sure at least one would have a microphone and a camera at the watched end.
Heck, you can even make the treat dispenser give him pills if he needs to take medication regularly.

Amazon Echo show, then enable “drop-in” before you give it to him. Echo show for video, any echo for audio. All you have to do is get two of either (one for you, one for him) and set it up properly. You can do say, an echo show and some echo dots somewhere else to get more room coverage if you want.

What’s not clear to me is, when I call it with my iPhone or my Echo from my house, does it automatically start the camera and allow me to talk through it, or does my Dad have to “answer” the call. I’d like it to just start, but that seems like it’s an awfully insecure system if that is indeed the case. Anyone can just call it and it streams video and audio with no confirmation from the callee?

If you’re not married to the camera idea, how about an extension ringer for the phone that is loud enough to be heard from almost anywhere?

Renny HOME – The Smart Home Phone & Ringer

This is highly amusing to think about, since I’ve seen ones where they throw the treat across the room :smiley:

I bought my dad an Echo Dot and I’ve “dropped in” on him before. I am 90% sure that I was able to hear and speak right away. But this is because the Echo app exists on my phone (it’s under my Amazon Prime account) and I gave myself access. He couldn’t be contacted from just anyone. Technically they’re really meant to be used within one residence.

Check out this article, which has more details on the Show.

Since you’re so awesomely techy, check out this article from Wired about digital companion services for seniors. You might be interested in Care Coach too. (the article is about Care Coach)

I don’t know about the video version, but with my Echo and two Dots, I can use the Amazon app on my phone to “drop in” to any of the devices in my house, even if I’m out on the road. You don’t necessarily need a Dot or echo yourself, but your phone has to have permission to access his. The person on the receiving end doesn’t have do anything to “answer” when called.

Of course, he needs an internet connection for this to work.

I would LOVE that, but it seems it needs a smart phone. Dad has an old-fashioned flip phone; his hand dexterity is nowhere near what it would take to use a smart phone.

I have Echos at my house, so if this is the case, maybe I’ll just buy him a cheapo Dot and see how that works. Heck, I have a cheapo Dot here, maybe I’ll bring it over and try it out before I spend the $$. I’ll check out Care Coach too, that looks interesting. Thanks!

He had internet, if only to make things easier for the rest of us kids when we drop by. As I said to ZipperJJ, this might be the thing! Thanks all!

I haven’t read the full specs, but I think it makes the connection through Bluetooth. I’ll look around to see if I can find something compatible with a flip phone.

You can also get an app for the Echo that allows dad to call out to you for help. AskMyBuddy. Not the same as reaching out to dad of course but if you’re going to fit him with an Echo, make sure you’re getting everything you can from it!

You might also want to add some apps to it to get him comfortable with using it and not forgetting it’s there, and not forgetting how to talk. Make it so he can get some songs he likes by asking, or getting daily stocks or news.

This might be a problem - I’m pretty sure the Amazon Echo and similar devices all need smartphone apps for initial setup. In theory you could activate his Echo with your phone, but it would require you to sing in to the Echo app on your phone using his Amazon credentials.

She can just use the Dot on her account. Dad doesn’t need an account. I’ve got my Alexa and my Dot on my Prime account and the Dot lives at my dad’s. My dad doesn’t have a smart phone.

Yeah, that’s what I’d do. Have you had any issues with that setup?

But when you say “drop in on dad”, does the system know which Echo devices are at his house, and not yours?

Only issue we had is one time I was listening to music here and he tried to listen to music there and Alexa said “Sorry Dave, I cant do that” (not really) because you can’t stream the same Amazon Prime Music account to two devices at once.

As for knowing which device to drop in to, it’s fine. Remember the original function is to act like an intercom in your own home so you’re actually supposed to use it all on one Prime account. Since it works over the Internet you don’t need the devices to be in the same home or even the same hemisphere. Just set up to be allowed to communicate.

I haven’t done it in a long time (my dad did not like it when I showed him that feature!) so I forget how the actual dropping in works. I know I actually dropped in via the phone app not via my Echo. But I do know dad’s Dot is named Dad’s Dot.

You mentioned he has no home phone service. Does he have home internet?

Sorry if that’s a dumb question - I’m assuming the answer is yes, or this thread wouldn’t be here, but I don’t like to assume.