Students: Riley Krall, Emily Bodenhamer, Patrick Perkins, Jack Van Well, Tyler Huson

Mentor: Szilard Vajda

Abstract

In the recent years, voice enabled devices became more of a norm in people’s lives. These devices (like Apple’s Siri, Google assistant, Amazon Alexa, and many more) have the primary use to make people’s lives easier and perform tasks for the user. Nowadays, about 40% of all internet users have access to one of these assistants. While these devices become much more common, students at CWU have not had a way to access school related information by just asking for it. For this reason, we propose an Amazon Alexa skill that can be used by CWU students with Amazon Alexa devices. All the student has to do, is tell Alexa to “Open Central Connect”, and Alexa will be ready to answer CWU related questions. Possible questions include building hours, club descriptions, sport event times, assignments that are due, classes the student is taking, and more. In addition, the skill requires student authentication for tasks that use personally identifiable information (PII), in order to keep their private information secure from being accessed. The skill was developed using Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the backend, utilizing serverless functions, database management, API access, and custom API creation; all implemented onto the cloud. The goal of this skill is to make the life of students in the dorm easier, allowing them easy access to CWU information. This project was mentored and supervised by Bob Rapp and Dr Szilard VAJDA and created for Andreas Bohman and University Housing.

Presentation

2 thoughts on “Central Connect”

  1. Hi Central Connect! Why did you choose AWS as your cloud provider? I know it’s an Amazon product like Alexa so it’s the natural first choice, but did you consider any other providers? Are you required to use AWS? Thanks and great work!

    1. Hey Brad,

      Yeah, we put some consideration at the beginning of other options such as google cloud or even hosting our own server. But we found that Alexa interacts really well with AWS, due to the needed framework behind the skill’s functionality and getting the Alexa Skills Kit and our service to be able to communicate to each other. Plus the documentation for AWS, provided by Amazon, was super thorough and helpful.

      So it wasn’t too hard of a decision to go with AWS.

      Thanks for checking out our project!

      Riley Krall

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