Northeastern University in Boston is going to begin giving some students the option of getting an Echo Dot that can be linked to their university account. This is going to allow students to do a few things that the Echo Dot can't already do, and this includes giving the student the times of their classes as well as checking the balance on their food card and even checking the amount of tuition that they owe. The idea behind doing this, is for students to be able to get this information much quicker. As it is all information that students would need to call the University for, or go online to check. Now, they can simply ask Alexa for the information.
This is all being done by an Alexa skill that the University has created, called Husky Helper, which is named after the school's mascot. So ideally, students who don't get an Echo Dot from Northeastern University could still pick one up – or another Alexa device – and enable the skill to get the same functionality. Developers at Northeastern University began developing this skill by using frequently asked questions of students. Many students were calling up the registration office to see when their classes start, or how much they owe, so now instead of being stuck on hold for 30 or 40 minutes, students can get the information instantly from Alexa.
As expected, this is also beginning to raise privacy and security questions. Seeing as this means that many young adults will have Alexa in their dorm rooms, and it's very likely that privacy will be thrown out the window. But it also means that an entire generation is going to be growing up with an assistant like Alexa by their side. Which is both a good and a bad thing. Much like Generation X were worried about Millennials growing up with technology and being on their phone all day long, the same will be true for the generation after. It likely won't be long before we see other schools and University's begin to develop their own Alexa skills to do the same thing that Northeastern is doing here.