DALLAS (CBSDFW) – University Park joins Las Vegas as the only other city in the country using Alexa-powered devices, like Echo and Echo Dot to receive general community news and events, road closure information and emergency alerts simply by saying, “Alexa, Ask My University Park.”
The new community engagement tool called Community Connect is the result of the City’s partnership with Imaginuity Interactive, a Dallas-based digital marketing firm. Imaginuity helped design and launch the City’s original website in 2003.
“We do Twitter. We do Nextdoor. We do Instagram. We do Facebook. This is another tool, and I think exciting,” said Steve Mace, community information officer for the city.
He considers the payoff for the $10,000 cost of Imaginuity‘s software priceless.
“I think it could become vital. As our residents know, as you drive around town right now… we have three or four major construction projects going on,” said Mace.
Other cities in North Texas are taking notice, calling the city and Imaginuity for details.
“They’re standing in line. They want to be the next to do it,” said Mace.
The city plans to spend the next few months educating neighbors on how to make specific commands using the the artificial-intelligence system. Also, people outside of University Park can use the feature on Alexa.