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.”
- 1,200 digital security cameras and 45 license plate recognition cameras installed on campus.
- Over 230 digital signage units across campus.
- Wired and wireless access control solution installed at Katy Campus and Parking Garage 5.
- Smart parking guidance system installed in Parking Garage 5, Welcome Center Garages, Calhoun Garage, and Stadium Garage.
- Smart lighting for Athletics events installed at Fertitta Center.
- Network-enabled microscopes and other specialized equipment used for research purposes.
PATH TO SUCCESS
- Continue supporting Campus Safety Systems and the UH Police to sunset the existing 400 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.
- Implement the license plate recognition (LPR Phase 3) cameras in 12 parking areas.
- Implement wireless, smart locking solutions in the new Quadrangle residential buildings and in Garage 6.
- Replace Tier 1 (building entrances) analog cameras with IP cameras in multiple buildings.
- Expand the implementation of Aruba Networks’ location-based services, currently being piloted in the Student Service Center.