On Thursday, Arizona State University (ASU) marks the beginning
of its tumble term, which doubles as the grand opening for
Tooker House — a code new, high-tech dorm for first-year
Tooker House sports cutting-edge amenities, including a workspace
with 3D printers and laser cutters for students to use. This dorm
is designed to be the climax valuables for ASU’s Fulton Schools of
Engineering, which it says is the largest engineering program in
But wait, there’s more: Every singular one of the 1,600 freshmen
moving into Tooker House is getting an
Echo Dot smart speaker, sell cost $50, interjection to a
one-time concession from Amazon. Notably, usurpation the device
isn’t mandatory, and some students may elect not to take
advantage of the offer.
The inclination also come versed with an ASU “skill,” built in
partnership with Amazon, which lets students fast get
information on the educational calendar and events on campus just by
asking the Echo’s Alexa digital assistant. It also sports the
normal Alexa features, including sourroundings alarms and playing
For ASU, it’s a way to safeguard its students stay on the cutting
edge. For Amazon, it’s a partial of a incomparable master devise to work out
how it can use the Alexa partner to own the future of
From ASU’s perspective, the Echo Dot speakers pronounce true to
the engineering program’s mission, according to Fulton Schools
vanguard Kyle Squires. He says the Echo Dot speakers “merge the
vital sourroundings with the training environment,” with students
speedy by the school’s curriculum to build their own Alexa
For Amazon, the “first of its kind” ASU partnership speaks of
bigger things to come in aloft education, says Amazon Alexa
executive Eric King. For starters, it’s going to give students an
inducement to build voice apps in general, and Alexa skills in
particular. That’s good for Amazon and the Alexa height as a
“It’s going to enthuse the next era of developers to use
voice,” says King.
Plus, King says Amazon and ASU are operative closely together to
see how students actually use their Echo Dots — not through
directly monitoring tyro use or drumming their inclination to
listen in, says Squires, but by watching and entertainment feedback.
That feedback, in turn, will be used by Amazon as it total out
the best ways for Alexa to confederate itself into vital spaces
and educational life. Today, that competence be sourroundings an alarm for an
early class; tomorrow, Alexa competence be means to tell you the best
track to your intramural soccer game, or the calm of your next
exam, says King.
Ultimately, King says universities are a essential partial of the
future of Alexa and Echo, as the future of voice-based computing
takes shape. He hopes the partnership with ASU is the first of
many in the years to come.
In that light, King says the concession of these 1,600 Echo devices
“was as much an investment” as it was a donation.