Universities are deploying more unique technologies, such as air quality sensors and robotics, to keep students and faculty safe on campus.
College campuses are large, open spaces that require a network of advanced technologies and security systems to keep students and faculty safe and secure. While robust video surveillance and access control solutions
are crucial to on-campus security, deploying more unique technologies to the education sector — such as smart sensors and robotics — can help campus security officers gain added insights.
Deploying smart sensors for smarter campuses
More and more higher education institutions around the world are deploying smart technologies to make campuses safer
, more secure and more efficient.
Smart sensors can even be used to assist campus administrators combat virus spread, according to David Antar, President of IPVideo Corporation
. His company’s HALO Smart Sensor can be used on college campuses to monitor air quality, humidity and temperature. The sensors can connect to building management, emergency and communications systems, and can send notifications when any of these measurements falls within a danger level that could contribute to the spread of viruses.
Antar noted that their sensor can also be integrated with third-party platforms and emergency communication applications that provide daily health screening questionnaires to confirm people are not sick and have not come in contact with individuals with COVID-19. Some of these applications also provide contact tracing and social distancing alerts.
Robotic distance screening solutions
The demand for more automation and robotic solutions has grown tremendously as a result of coronavirus. With social distancing guidelines requiring less human interaction, college campuses are utilizing robotic solutions to help with certain tasks.
Robotic distance screening solutions that combine the intelligence and reliability of robots with the personal problem-solving capabilities of humans can benefit university campuses, according to Jim Geyer, VP of Sales at Allied Universal
“These interactive robots perform access control, communications and screening functions with key functionalities that support COVID-19 protocols and social distancing guidelines,” Geyer said.
Temperature screening kiosks
Temperature checks have become a norm as a result of COVID-19. Whereas in the past passing through a thermal checkpoint was mostly reserved for health screenings at airports, today they are being deployed everywhere, including college campuses.
Some universities are deploying touchless kiosk solutions equipped to take temperature
measurements and even recognize whether or not the user is wearing a face mask
. Many universities hope that deploying these self-service kiosks will help promote better health awareness among students and faculty, as well as make them more responsible for their own health.
Challenges to adopting new technologies
The benefits offered by these various technologies are often obvious, but not without its deployment challenges. For instance, budget is an obstacle for most universities
. With less students on campus, universities are facing greater financial difficulty, which makes spending on technologies that may seem like extras much more difficult.
There are also concerns over privacy. An article by MIT Technology Review reported on the deployment of smart speakers in on-campus housing at various US universities. While many students found the added technology to be useful, others were concerned about privacy. This concern is not new or unsurprising. While the advantages of deploying smart technologies is often one of convenience, finding the right balance between convenience, efficiency and privacy is still being tested.