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Alexa Show & Tell: Accessibility on Amazon Echo Show

Alexa can help identify products with Show and Tell! Just ask, “Alexa, what am I holding?” on Echo Show devices.

“The whole idea for Show and Tell came about from feedback from blind and low vision customers,” said Sarah Caplener, head of Amazon’s Alexa for Everyone team. “We heard that product identification can be a challenge and something customers wanted Alexa’s help with. Whether a customer is sorting through a bag of groceries, or trying to determine what item was left out on the counter, we want to make those moments simpler by helping identify these items and giving customers the information they need in that moment.”

From early research and exploration through product development and testing, Caplener’s team collaborated with the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Santa Cruz, California. For Show and Tell, they enlisted customers who are blind or have low vision for user studies, providing feedback to the Alexa for Everyone team. “It’s critical for us that we’re working with our customers, building with them, not just building for them,” explained Caplener.

Vista Center community member Brett Fowler lost his vision at age 10. The stay-at-home dad loves to cook, but he notes that he has trouble identifying things like spices. Fowler says the Show and Tell feature on the Echo Show is a game changer. “All of these devices that are acting as your eyes, it’s revolutionary. For me, the less stress I have to put on somebody else is less stress on me. And it makes me feel good.”

Amazon believes in starting from the customer and working backwards, a philosophy also applied to inventing and using our technology resources for good. That means paying attention to what all of our customers are telling us.

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