I attended Digital Book World in Nashville last week. It’s always inspiring to be surrounded by authors and others in the publishing industry who are pursuing their dreams and creating worthwhile projects.
It came as a bit of a surprise to me that voice-activated technology was among the biggest trend. As a writer, I’ve always concerned myself with the written word, whether it was in print or more likely, digital form. While I’m aware of voice-activated home devices like Alexa, and own one, I never thought about storytelling through such devices. Well, I learned last week that plenty of people are thinking about voice-first as an emerging platform for authors.
While many of the early examples and success stories involve children’s stories, I started thinking about how those of us involved in elder care may be more familiar with voice-activated technology than we think. Life Alert’s, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” slogan has become a meme, but the company developed one of the earlier forms of a voice-activated devices that was adopted by the masses and has helped save countless lives.
Now there is a focus on using voice to create entertainment options, and I can think of ways this could benefit those with dementia. Witlingo’s Drill Skills could be useful for dementia caregivers to engage their loved ones in a fun mental exercise. Those with dementia who can no longer read longer works may enjoy the shorter “microstory” format that voice first publishing uses.
I will be following the developments in voice first publishing and look forward to seeing how it could be used by caregivers to entertain and engage their loved ones.