Alexa, What’s Going on in Douglas County?

“Alexa, what’s the weather like today?”
“Alexa, what are the movie times for Friday night?”
“Alexa, find a recipe for spaghetti bolognese.”

In this day and age, you may be asking Alexa all kinds of questions on a daily basis, maybe even trying out the funny commands like, “Alexa, what is the first rule of fight club?” or “Alexa, fire the photon torpedoes.”

If you aren’t altogether sure as to what “Alexa” is exactly, Alexa is Amazon’s cloud-based voice service. It (“she”) connects to the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show and other Alexa-enabled devices such as Fire TV, Amazon Tap, Fire Tablets, and more. Alexa is a virtual personal assistant that can do things like adjust the volume on your speakers, set a timer, update your calendar and more, all activated by simply saying, “Alexa.”

Now, Douglas County residents can add a whole new list of commands to their Alexa repertoire. Douglas County is adding a new skill for Amazon Alexa called Ask Douglas County, enabling citizens to access information about events and services as well as answer their questions. This innovation is the first government skill in the state of Colorado to leverage the latest technology from Amazon’s Alexa voice service. This new Douglas County skill for Alexa will enable citizens to engage and connect with local government in a whole new, interactive way. To activate the skill, users simply say, “Alexa, enable Douglas County” on their Amazon device or access it through the Alexa app.

Once activated, a variety of information can be accessed by asking questions such as:

“Alexa, Ask Douglas County what’s new” to access news in the area.
“Alexa, Ask Douglas County if there are any road closures this week”
“Alexa, Ask Douglas County what local events are happening this month”
“Alexa, Ask Douglas County how I pay my property tax.”

More questions are being added based on citizen inquiries, and a complete list of questions can be found on the Douglas County open data site, DougCodata.org.

What are you waiting for? Activate the new Ask Douglas County skill and start finding out everything that is happening in your neighborhood – and maybe that recipe for spaghetti bolognese too!

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