US university puts Echo Dots in all student accommodation

Tyrone Stewart

Saint Louis University Echo DotSaint Louis University in Missouri will have surprise waiting for students attending the university this semester in the shape of an Echo Dot device in each of their rooms.

All of the over 2,300 student residences on campus – both dorms and apartments – will be equipped with their very own Echo Dot devices by the time classes start at the end of August. But these devices are not just there to ask about random facts or about the weather.

Each of the devices on campus will give students access to a custom SLU Alexa skill, providing them with answers to more than 100 questions specific to the university.

“The students we attract are highly driven to achieve success in and out of the classroom,” said David Hakanson, SLU’s vice president and CIO. “Every minute we can save our students from having to search for the information they need online is another minute that they can spend focused on what matters most: their education.” 

Students will be to ask for information about library opening times, directions to parts of the university, concerts, events, and more.

“I think it’s really innovative,” said Katlyn Martin, president of SLU’s Student Government Association. “By interacting with technology in a cool way, our students will have another resource to find things to do on campus, to meet other people and to take advantage of the holistic Jesuit education that Saint Louis University offers.”