St. Louis University, a private four-year university in Missouri, unveiled a plan to install 2,300 intelligent assistant-enabled Echo Dots in residence halls and student apartments before classes begin later this month. The Alexa-enabled Echo Dots will be programmed to answer over 100 specific questions about the campus and student activities, such as the hours for the library or a list of upcoming public lectures.
The program, the first of its kind in the nation because it will include every residence on the school's campus, is managed by Amazon's Alexa for Business and supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS), which means students don't have to know how to set up Alexa or the Echo Dot. Instead the devices will be operated by a central system not tied to any student's individual account and won't retain personal information. Additionally, the university says the Echo Dots are operated at no cost to students.