Transforming Campus Experiences with IoT

July 5, 2022

When it comes to improving the on-campus experience for students, universities are famously creative — and generous. The current generation leaving high school expects to find everything from well-appointed student centers to impressive athletic facilities to a long list of recreational opportunities waiting for them before they attend their first college class. Universities have long recognized that the overall experience of simply being on a college campus ranks at least as highly as the quality of their instruction when it comes to general student satisfaction. 

IoT on campus - what can it be used for?

But schools are increasingly turning to other, less visible but still quite useful ways to support students as they settle into their new home environments. 

Digital networks are being used to enable a wide range of applications that can be used in various circumstances, all with the goal of delivering better organization and, when needed, additional security measures. 

Here are some of the ways that location-based tracking solutions powered via connectivity made possible by Bluetooth® Low Energy are being used on university campuses. 

Stress-free indoor navigation. First day of class and no idea where to go? Entering a new building for the first time? Overwhelmed by just how big everything is? Wayfinding solutions — a familiar feature in airports, hospitals and other large facilities — are a natural fit for universities. Using a simple application on your phone, you can access detailed directions to anywhere you need to go. 

Round-the-clock campus wellness. Sensor-enabled devices can remotely inform stakeholders about humidity, lighting and temperature levels in monitored areas. This allows for automatic adjustments when preset ranges are exceeded and enables quick reactions when something goes wrong. 

Automated attendance tracking. Wearing or carrying a smart badge automatically registers information passively in the network, with no action needed from students. The presence of smart badges can be registered by network-connected devices, providing documentation of the presence of anyone associated with that badge. This can be used to passively monitor class attendance or visits to other on-campus locations, like libraries or laboratories. 

Real-time mustering. This is the term for gathering the occupants of a particular space for the purposes of evacuation, usually in emergency situations. During such events, every second counts and that’s why the ability to instantly say whether or not everyone in, for example, a room or auditorium is safely outside is crucial. With mustering capabilities, you can tell at a glance if anyone with a smart badge is still in a specific location. Being able to tell first responders the number and location of anyone still inside can be just what it takes to avoid a tragedy. 

Staff safety. When staff feel threatened or, worse, are in need of immediate assistance due to assault, having a panic button-enabled smart badge means they are never truly alone, even in a large building on a huge campus. The button can be used to alert others along with precise information about the staff member’s location. This means security or other help knows exactly where to go, cutting response times and mitigating the effects of the incident. 

Student safety. Unfortunately, students can also face their own security threats and their button-enabled smart badges operate in the same way. As long as they are in a monitored area, a press of the button is enough to discreetly send for help. Given the fact that so many students live in on-campus dormitories, this means they take their protection with them, even when classes are done. This simple, portable access to an additional layer of digital security can reassure students that they are always within quick and easy reach of help when they need it. 

Why Kontakt.io?

Kontakt.io is a leader in the space where IoT-powered applications assist university campuses to meet the challenge of ensuring a safe environment for students. Here are some of the reasons why our solutions are the go-to choice for institutions across the country:

Open technology. Operating on open-standard Bluetooth® Low Energy makes integration with existing infrastructure simple and easy while keeping the door open for future growth. The proprietary standards of legacy systems make them expensive, difficult to manage and limit the scalability needed to accommodate new use cases. We prioritize openness to third-party applications through simple API.

Shorter time to value. Given enough time, every system provides a return on investment but with Kontakt.io that return is achieved in a fraction of the time of other solutions because of our ease of deployment, cloud-managed services, and simple, wireless infrastructure. 

Start small and scale as needed. Start by covering one area of a campus and grow as needed as funding is made available, eventually covering the entire building and even external areas. It’s easily done with a scalable system architecture and simple devices that can be added to existing deployments. With Kontakt.io, scaling up is always an option.

Ease of deployment. Ensuring easy setup and deployment is a fundamental part of our approach to our product philosophy. We make getting started and achieving maximum utility from day one simple:

  • We believe in leveraging existing infrastructure including Bluetooth® LE-enabled wireless access points, light fixtures, or other third-party BLE Gateways using out-of-the-box integrations with market-leading providers. This eliminates the need for parallel networks reducing setup time and labor.
  • In absence of any enterprise Bluetooth® LE connectivity, we provide plug-and-play  Bluetooth® LE gateways that are agnostic to existing WiFi providers. We provide flexibility in location granularity from 1-3m to guaranteed room-level using our wireless InfraRed beacons, simplifying setup and use. 
  • Our mobile app takes you step-by-step through the onboarding process to get your deployment up and running.

In addition, we combine the power of AI and Machine Learning to improve system performance without the need for onsite technicians and hardware tuning.

Solutions from Kontakt.io have applications beyond those listed above. We also expose and track a new layer of metadata about buildings, information that illustrates environmental conditions of physical space like temperature, humidity, air quality, and air pressure to protect the wellbeing of people and the spaces they occupy. 

Together with our partners, we have delivered solutions to over 30,000 end-users with +3,200,000 sensors in the field, covering approximately one billion square feet of indoor space.

At Kontakt.io, we build technologies that help transform buildings into indoor spaces that are useful for people in their daily journey to accomplish their goals, working or being cared for, in a safe & sustainable indoor environment.

The university campus environment is the perfect setting to showcase the many applications of our technology and the ways it makes our lives better. If you’re thinking about upgrading the student experience in your institution, reach out to our Sales team today. 

See how we can improve your campus experience 

Aneta Ciurkot

Director, Product Marketing

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