Amazon TV ads show how everyday technology can help people with sight loss to live independently

Post date: 12 Sep 2019

Over the next few weeks up to 24 million television viewers will see how technology can benefit the lives of people with sight loss, thanks to Amazon’s new multi-million pound TV campaign.

The e-commerce and tech giant launched its campaign, which is supported by RNIB, with a TV ad showing how Alexa, its Versatile Digital Assistant (VDA), can help people complete their morning routine, by checking the time and the weather.

In the ad – titled Morning ritual - a woman, who the viewer eventually realises is blind, wakes up, makes herself coffee and prepares to head outside. She asks Alexa for the time and a description of the weather. The ad also features a guide dog, a life-changing service provided by the charity Guide Dogs in the UK.

According to Amazon, the ad was designed to show some of the Alexa features its customers with sight loss have told it are helpful on a daily basis. These range from adding items to shopping lists, asking it to set timers for cooking, and listening to podcasts, audiobooks and music. 

RNIB has supported the campaign as Amazon offers training support for RNIB staff on the latest Amazon devices and Alexa features that may benefit blind and partially sighted people. RNIB’s Technology for Life team provides essential information to help people with sight loss to be independent, access information, grasp opportunities and b​e creativ​e.

Robin Spinks, Senior Technology and Innovation Relationships Manager at RNIB, said: “The simplest jobs, that sighted people might take for granted, can often be the hardest for those living with sight loss. Having a device that can give you information via voice simplifies tasks and opens a world of accessibility."

In addition to this advert, RNIB is working with Amazon to develop an Alexa skill enabling users to access frequently asked questions about sight loss through voice commands. Alexa users will get the opportunity to use this skill later this year.

Amazon has planned the campaign to run for several weeks across TV and digital platforms.

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