DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit is one of 238 cities in the running to be the home of Amazon's second headquarters, but the city has already teamed up with the tech giant.
CityInsight CEO and Wayne State grad Abess Makki was tasked with sprucing up the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department's website when a lightbulb went off in his head.
"We kinda were just brainstorming and Dan was a huge fan of [Amazon's intelligent voice service] Alexa, and we were like, wouldn't it be cool if you could ask Alexa? And I said, the thing is don't tell me something, because I'm gonna do it," Makki remembers.
And he did do it.
Right now, you can ask Alexa things like: "When is my bill due?" "How much is my bill?" "How much water did I use this month compared to last month?"
"Just by simply saying the trigger word, which is "Detroit water," you can ask it it usage and billing information," Makki explains.
Detroit is the only municipality in the country to team up with Amazon's Alexa, a decision they said was a no brainer.
"What we we're looking to do was make everything very simple, and the way of the world nowadays you can see with Siri and Alexa this integration makes things simple for our customers," says Robert Presnell, COO of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.
Residents in the city can use it for free right now, and the results are overwhelmingly positive.
"Once you set it up, it's just like asking a person. Like imagine you're asking a person at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. It's just like doing that but from the comfort of your own home," says Detroit resident Justin Cook.
So, will this play into Amazon's choice for their second headquarters? Probably not, but it once again proves that Detroit is a hub for innovation and creativity in the booming tech world.
To start using the Alexa feature, click here.