HomeInternet of Things (IoT)Houston schools to pilot IoT-enabled building safety platform

Houston schools to pilot IoT-enabled building safety platform

Two schools in Houston will pilot an internet of things (IoT)-enabled platform called ActiveShield to improve public safety.

The IoT safe-spaces technology created by Insight Enterprises (NSIT) integrates with a building safety platform from BeSafe Technologies to facilitate critical, real-time information sharing during a crisis.

Insight’s Safe Spaces solution addresses communication challenges during emergency events where public safety is threatened, running safety mechanisms like sound sensors and color-coded LED lighting through an IoT-enabled response system.

“Knowledge is power, and our mission is to save lives by providing the right information to the right people at the right time,” said Kevin Harrington, chief executive officer of BeSafe Technologies. “What we see with Insight Safe Spaces is the ability to use IoT to build on our core capabilities to further improve public safety. This creates a communication hub that instantly connects on-site security with police, fire and other emergency responders, as well as building occupants.”

BeSafe, a provider of emergency response communication technology between school administrators and first responders, is working with Microsoft and the city of Houston to install the platform in two schools within the Aldine Independent School District (AISD). BeSafe already has equipped the schools with its core safety and security system, and the IoT-enabled ActiveShield will be implemented next.

“Student and staff safety are a top priority. The partnership with the city of Houston and Microsoft will take our efforts to the next level,” said AISD Superintendent of Schools LaTonya Goffney.

The Safe Spaces solution from Insight integrates with BeSafe’s ActiveShield to create an IoT platform that acts as the central hub for:

-Capturing data transmitted from sensor-based technology – cameras, sound and motion sensors, etc. – integrated with third-party security solutions, providing them the ability to share real-time information and coordinate emergency response.

-Panic buttons that a teacher or other school faculty can press to send an alert if they feel threatened

-Color-coded smart lights that automatically illuminate to warn of an emergency based on proximity to the possible danger and help people identify safe zones

-Real-time communication to on-site security and emergency services, with different alerts or action plans based on the information being shared with the central system

-Direct lines of communication for people involved in the crisis via a navigation-based mobile app to provide updates and safety instructions in real time

“Insight Safe Spaces harnesses the power of Microsoft Azure IoT solution accelerators and other partner products into meaningful go-to-market solutions that can be developed and fully managed by Insight as standalone offerings or integrated into an existing safety system — opening new doors to enhanced public safety,” said Stan Lequin, vice president and general manager, Insight Digital Innovation.

Rodney Clark, vice president, IoT Sales, Microsoft, added: “ActiveShield is built on an open-source safety notification IoT solution accelerator, jointly developed by Insight and Microsoft, to help partners like BeSafe expedite development of secure, differentiated solutions and accelerate time to value. AISD’s piloting ActiveShield, to keep their schools safe and students learning, demonstrates the transformative impact that can be realized through IoT.”

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