Why does the button need to be held down while talking/sending (like a walkie-talkie)?


I was very excited to hear about the Relay as a possible option for my elderly mother in memory care. However, I just read a post on the Relay FB page that said the button needs to be held down while talking/sending (like a walkie-talkie). Is that truly the case? If so, then this won’t work for my mom. She would probably be able to remember to press a button before talking, but she won’t be able to remember to hold it down while talking and to release when listening.

I was under the assumption that the button triggered the mics on the unit, but figured it was a press-to-activate mechanism that would timeout if no incoming communication was occurring.

Relay Questions Answered

How would the relay unit know when to stop listening. Shouldn’t the time to listen should be pretty precise. There could be either a lot of dead air or people getting cut off mid sentence. Tough to balance.


Sean, I don’t have an answer. I’m just pointing out an operational problem for people with memory, or even motor-skills issues. A hands-free mode of some kind would probably be needed. If something like that isn’t do-able, then there may simply be no solution for the situation I’m describing.


While it would introduce other issues, I can imagine an optional “semi-VOX” mode that could be useful. Once triggered by a momentary button press, it would record until a pause of some pre-programmed or customizable duration occurred (say, 2 or 3 seconds), OR until a pre-programmed or customisable period of time has elapsed (say, 10 or 15 seconds).

Even more useful if wrist worn and it could be triggered by a flick of the wrist (does the hardware include an accelerometer?) -would be quite handy if one’s hands are full or otherwise occupied (driving, riding, biking).

Perhaps something to consider in a future revision - seems it souldn’t bee too difficult to implement in software. But I agree that the default should always remain push (and hold) to talk, and release when finished talking, as it’s a mode many people are already familiar with if they’ve ever used any sort of two-way radio or intercom, and it’s intuitive and simple to learn for anyone who hasn’t.

I’m not necessarily recommending it so much as I’m pointing out that it isn’t impossible - not even difficult - to add if there were enough interest.


Hey @jriems, just wanted to add a little bit to this conversation as well. You do raise an interesting point and I know others have mentioned how Relay could assist with elder care…We wanted to design it like a walkie-talkie, thinking it’d be for mostly brief communications (checking in with your family & friends, quick updates, etc), and not necessarily be for longer conversations like you would have via phone. I understand this might make Relay a bit off from the initial solution you were hoping for, but we’re still developing as @homelessonwheels mentioned and if this becomes and issue for many, it could be a feature we revisit. Thanks for sharing this feedback, we definitely want to hear things like this :slight_smile: