Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday the state’s residents can now access government services through voice commands to their Amazon Alexa and Google Home products, adding Iowa to a growing list of states allowing internet-connected home devices to connect to agencies.
Iowans can now ask their smartphones or home devices questions pertaining to topics like how to pay a speeding ticket or how to register to vote. After installing the skill, users can simply say “ask the state of Iowa” to be prompted for a question, the governor and state Chief Information Officer Jeff Franklin demonstrated at a press conference.
“We place Iowans at the center of all of our decisions and this latest improvement to increase citizen engagement is a great example of how we’re making state government adaptable to technology,” Reynolds said.
Embracing voice-controlled devices is a growing trend in state government as some IT leaders seek to open as many channels as possible for communication between government and the public.
Reynolds said six other states have implemented voice commands for citizens. Indiana offers travel advisories, and Utah, which first adopted Alexa skills in 2016, offers practice quizzes for driver’s licenses and notary exams, in addition to disseminating general information from a variety of state departments.