The evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to confirm its important position in the context of information and communication technologies and the development of higher education. With IoT, institutions can enhance learning outcomes by providing better academic experiences, improving operational efficiency and gaining real-time, actionable insight into student performance.
With the proliferation of smart devices and Wi-Fi connectivity, students are connecting wirelessly using multiple devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and wearables. Understanding the potential benefits of IoT technologies and having the ability to implement and manage them effectively are essential to be competitive in higher education. At UH, we intend to use IoT technologies to achieve a smarter, more connected and safer campus. While IoT is still an emerging field, UH already offers innovative solutions using real-time data collection to provide a responsive and personalized student experience.
- With the University — National Competitiveness: UIT supports academic and research initiatives at the Colleges of Engineering, Technology, Pharmacy, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics that require IoT devices such as microscopes, environmental sensors and monitoring cameras.
- With the University — Student Success: UIT and Campus Safety are replacing analog security cameras with digital. Wired and wireless access control is supplanting legacy keys. With Parking and Transportation, UIT is enabling license plate recognition in parking areas, and multiple garages now feature a parking guidance system. In residential halls, students now enjoy technologies like smart TVs, digital signage, voice-recognition digital assistant (e.g., Alexa), Wi-Fi printers and IP-based gaming consoles.
- With the University — Athletic Competitiveness: Recent IoT efforts for Athletics include ticket scanning, iris recognition (biometrics), smart lighting and video in Fertitta Center and POS (point-of-sale) advances.
- With the State — Mobile and Digital Services: As TX-DIR explains, “IoT can provide opportunities for agencies to leverage data to make services smarter, more responsive, and citizen-centric.”
- Over 2,500 IP security cameras including 110 Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) cameras installed on campus and remote locations.
- Completion of the 5-year ALPR roadmap implementation to cover all campus entrances and parking lots.
- Wired and wireless access control solutions installed most recently in new buildings such as Elgin Garage, University Gateway Garage, Science and Quadrangle.
- Over 1,600 Wi-Fi door locks installed in multiple buildings such as the Quadrangle and UH Sugar Land Technology.
- Smart guidance parking system installed in all garages, most recently in the University Gateway Garage.
- Network-enabled microscopes and other specialized equipment used for research purposes.
- Launch of a pilot of Aruba network location-based services at the Student Service Center.
PATH TO SUCCESS
- Continue supporting Campus Safety Systems and the UH Police to sunset the existing 300 analog security cameras and replace them with digital models.
- Continue partnering with the colleges and the Division of Research to support emerging IoT academic and research needs.
- Continue supporting the IoT needs of University Parking and Transportation, Student Housing and Residential Life, Facilities Management and other units as needed.
- Continue expanding the security camera network to cover bike racks and new buildings such as College of Medicine and Law Center.
- Migrate security camera servers from a distributed architecture to a centralized, enterprise architecture at the UH Data Center.
- Replace analog security cameras with IP cameras.