If you live in University Park and have Alexa, Amazon’s conversational information technology, you can do more than just order groceries, request music, or set a timer for baking.
In July, Dallas-based digital marketing firm Imaginuity announced it had launched Community Connect for Alexa, which delivers municipal government information to residents of University Park.
“I think this is really on the bleeding edge.”
The information delivered to Amazon Alexa-using University Park residents includes traffic updates, civic information, and in-town events. Imaginuity said it is working to deliver Community Connect to other North Texas municipalities in the near future.
“I think this is really on the bleeding edge,” Imaginuity’s Chief Market Officer, Gary Hooker, told Govtech.com. “We’ve talked to probably 30 municipalities; half of them are afraid of it.”
According to the Imaginuity website, users simply begin their request with, “Alexa, Ask My University Park,” and then use these prompts:
- Alexa, Ask My University Park, what’s in the news?
- Alexa, ask My University Park what are the events?
- Alexa, ask My University Park how is the traffic?
- Alexa, ask My University Park to read The Arbor (University Park’s monthly newsletter).
Imaginuity also has created a dynamic feed between a municipality and the Alexa user. Whenever something is updated on the University Park website, for example, that new information will be passed along to the Alexa user when requested.
You might have seen TV commercials for Alexa that show its many at-home uses to improve your life.
Other states and local governments also are utilizing the chatty technology for a variety of uses.
In Utah, one of the early adopters of the technology, users can call on Alexa for various services, such as preparation for driver’s license exams. Mississippi, another early adopter of Alexa, uses the platform to deliver information on such things as taxes or vehicle registration.
On the municipal level, the city of Las Vegas gives Alexa users the ability to ask about parks, elections, and building permit status. Las Vegas is also likely to be the first adapter of Alexa’s next evolution, the Amazon Echo Show, which will allow dissemination of visual information.
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