Making Schools Safer with the Internet of Things


At ZyXEL, we offer comprehensive solutions for schools and other learning institutions seeking improved networking and Wi-Fi capabilities. It's a big part of what we do, helping educators utilize the latest in Internet of Things (IoT) to improve the way teachers teach and also, how administrators run their schools. 

Speaking of administrators, the IoT now offers added benefits to schools when it comes to safety. Posted earlier this year, let's look at three ways the IoT can make schools safer, as illustrated in a great post earlier this year on Ingram Micro.

Article excerpted below

Facial-recognition cameras
Imagine school security staff receiving alerts the very moment when unregistered guests walk on campus. The technology is certainly available—look no further than your Facebook account.

Has a social media application has ever identified you in a photo, based on facial recognition alone? Once your face is “in the system,” advanced algorithms can recognize you with remarkable precision. Facial key points are detected and the best facial recognition application can identify you with up to 97% accuracy.

Combining deep learning and IoT, facial recognition technology has been used to identify escaped convicts who appear on security cameras while on the run. On the consumer side, property owners can already purchase smart cameras with advanced cloud algorithms, which alert them of what’s happening in their homes and businesses.

Back to schools—when cameras detect staff and enrolled students in their database, no alerts would be sent; however, security would receive a snapshot and the exact location of any unfamiliar visitors. Security can also turn on alerts for designated individuals within the current database.

2) Drone and kiosk surveillance
Since drones are getting cheaper, they may soon become a realistic mainstream option in terms of school security. Drone fleets can provide a 360° camera view of campus activity, and even include speakers and microphones. As for charging the drone units, a staggered approach can be implemented to ensure continuous monitoring.

Complementing the mobility and bird’s-eye view of drones, stationary campus kiosks can provide additional 360° camera coverage, two-way communication and digital signage for alerts. Unlike drones, kiosks don’t risk inflight crashes or require downtime at charging stations.

Both drones and kiosk cameras can include facial recognition technology.

3) IoT sensors
Not all threats to schools are due to nefarious behavior. Many come from failed equipment, oversights or improper maintenance. Think of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, hazardous water quality and air pollutants.

What used to be expensive, manual processes—relying on various experts in various fields—can now be automatically detected and reported by IoT-enabled sensors. Thanks to advances in IoT sensor technology, one unit can track multiple dangers, which makes it even more affordable for cash-strapped school districts.

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