Amazon Alexa Can Give You Indiana Travel Advisory Updates
By Mike Perleberg
Amazon Echo devices. Amazon photo.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – “Hey Alexa. What are the road conditions like in Dearborn County?”
Uttering that phrase to Amazon’s personal home helper device can help get you a good answer.
The Indiana Office of Technology announced Thursday that Amazon Echo users can request county-level travel statuses be asking the device for travel advisories.
“Alexa, ask Indiana for travel advisories.” The voice of Alexa will respond by asking which county. Tell her, and she’ll respond be saying whether there is an active advisory, a watch or warning.
“Access to information is a key component of preparedness,” said Bryan Langley, Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. “This important step will allow Hoosiers yet another way to rapidly access information and make informed decisions to keep themselves and their family safe.”
Travel statuses are, in order of least to most severe, normal, advisory, watch and warning. Most often advisories are updated when localities are experiencing winter weather conditions. The full travel status map and descriptions of the warnings can be found at http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/.
Hoosiers with Alexa in their home can also enable her to retrieve contact information for state employees and information about state agencies by saying, ‘Ask Indiana.’ To enable the skill on the device, simply say “Alexa, add the State of Indiana skill”, go to https://www.amazon.com/Indiana-Interactive-LLC-IN-GOV/dp/B072PSTW7S or search for the State of Indiana in the Amazon Alexa mobile app.
Alexa is becoming more common in homes. A survey by Cowen & Co. found that 13.5 percent of U.S. consumers have an Amazon Echo. Any person with a smartphone or tablet can also download and use the Amazon Alexa app at no cost.