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Saint Louis University is Adding Amazon Echo Dots to Student Housing

Alexa, play “Year 3000” by the Jonas Brothers.

Tamia Heard

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It’s officially August, which means schools are preparing for students to return to campus.

Students at Saint Louis University (SLU) will be welcomed by a new addition to their residence halls and apartments. The university announced on Thursday that they will be putting Amazon Echo Dots into each student residence.

The Amazon Echo Dot is a voice-controlled smart speaker developed by Amazon.com and powered by Alexa. Aside from its basic functions, the hands-free speaker in each residence will provide access to an SLU exclusive feature. Students will be able to use the device to ask Alexa university specific questions such as directions, building hours, and the times of on-campus events.

The university underwent a 20 room trial and collected student feedback before settling on the Echo Dot. SLU is noted as the first university in the U.S. to bring virtual assistance to every residence on campus, although Arizona State University implemented the Dots in a limited number of rooms last summer.

SLU has set up a webpage with frequently asked questions about usage of the Echo Dots and privacy concerns.

 

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Tamia Heard is a rising senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Tamia is majoring in communication studies with a journalism concentration. As a southern woman, she enjoys Saturday's filled with college football and good food!

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