Amazon Echo Dots in Saint Louis University will Include a SLU-specific Ability to help Pupils.
(SLU Photo) Students headed back to college at one university this autumn would be needing to know a new sort of roommate in residence halls and student apartments — Alexa. Amazon and Saint Louis University announced Thursday the private college will be the first from the U.S. to deliver virtual personal assistants to each pupil residence on campus. SLU will be setting up 2,300 Echo Dots. The Dots may also provide students access to an exclusive SLU skill, made possible by Alexa for both Business and n-Powered, that will provide responses to more than 100 custom queries related to various aspects of student life including sporting eventsand library hours, concerts, speaking engagementsand directions on campus and more. “Every minute we can save our students from needing to search for the information they need online is another moment they can spend concentrated on their instruction,” David Hakanson, the University’s vice president and CIO said, said in a news release. SLU settled on Amazon’s device after a pilot project in which the Echo Dots were put in 20 residence hall rooms along with a competing device was utilized in a different 20 rooms. The Dot obtained the most favorable feedback from students, according to the university. “I think it’s really innovative,” said Katlyn Martin, president of SLU’s Student Government Association, in a SLU narrative about the program. “By interacting with technologies in a cool way, our students will have a different resource to discover things to do on campus…” SLU has a website dedicated to questions students may have about Alexa inside their dorm rooms, such as whether they should be concerned about privacy and if they can scatter the Dots. Arizona State University also brought Dots to campus in a program aimed at engineering students living in a particular residence at the college. ASU also utilized a school-specific skill meant to enhance student life.