The Internet of Things goes to the school space and the Android of things


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Universities, schools and campuses are a popular proving ground for deployment of IoT, for Internet of Things products that range from campus lifestyle to classroom environments. It looks like research universities are a wonderful place for testing IoT deployments. This is because they usually comprise a microcosm of a wide range of technical and organizational environments.

The IoT is not only theoretical and the Internet of Things is not just an academic exercise. Furthermore, the school apparently is working on keeping track of parking availability as well as restroom/concession wait times and making information available to users of mobile phones. Using IoT in tracking student activity and movement, leaders could take action for facilitating group learning opportunities outside of the lecture delivery. Researchers in the University of Texas are studying how emotions of students affect learning with the use of wearables to monitor biological factors, which correspond to emotional states. In the University of the Pacific, Kinect sensors in the classrooms track the skeletal positions of students to investigate correlations between learner engagement and postures.

It is clear that the Internet of Things is finding an accepting home in universities and colleges. This creates opportunities as well as poses challenges for IT personnel who would have to deal with still-evolving technologies, uncertainty of the number devices involved as well as complex privacy and security issues. There is no better place to explored the benefits and the role of IoT than a school environment full of smart young and old people all trying to learn something new. The internet has rooted itself deeply into schools and e-learning has become common practice in the American education system. The growth of mobile technology and the internet of things enable schools to improve safety of campuses, keeping track of key resources and boost information access. Teachers could even use the technology to make smart lesson plans instead of the traditional stoic plans of yesteryears.

The Internet of Things could start disrupting the education process as early as kindergarten and could continue doing so through the twelfth grade. But probably the most profound effects happen in higher education. Students, particularly those in college are more and more moving away from paper books toward laptops and tablets. With all the information available at the fingertips, students now could learn at their own pace as well as have an almost identical educational experience in the comfort of their homes and in the classroom. While the trend offers increased convenience for students, it also makes the teaching for professors more efficient. The surge in connected technology means that teachers need not grade tests on paper manually or do other routine tasks. Instead, instructors could focus on the personal, actual instruction that’s most valuable to students. Outside the classroom, universities could use connected devices to monitor their staff, students, resources and equipment at lower cost. For schools, the biggest benefits of IoT would be improved energy efficiency. For instance, New Richmond schools in Tipp, Ohio save approximately $128,000 per year through the use of a web-based system, which controls all mechanical equipment inside buildings. Moreover, savings continue as schools are investing in reusable resources, like tablets, computers and smart phones.

Education is however far from the only area of people’s lives that IoT will transform. Energy, transportation, homes and healthcare among others all feel the touch of the Internet of Things. Android for instance has become the major force behind the technology.

In relation to the Internet of Things, Android phone apps and an Android app have become major driving forces. A quick look at the market reveals that most smart devices run on Android. Also, anyone familiar with smart phones are also familiar with Android. Currently, it is the leading mobile device operating system in the world. IoT is being made and managed for Android. Why Android is because it is a universal front end that developers could work is because it has grown fast as a software platform mostly because Google opt to give it away to device makers and developers. It is open-source, thus letting just about anyone use its source code and customize it to use in just about any device or gadget. Also, the preview version of Android things gives developers a look at the new support for technologies, including the WebView to display web content and the OpenGL graphics library.

With Android Things updated to Android O, considerable changes were made to the platform. The Android Things is designed to allow developers create consumer, mass-market IoT devices that are based on Android. Google claimed that the platform abstracts all complexities of embedded systems design, thus developers could start to develop IoT devices without any previous knowledge of IoT systems designing.

The IoT is gaining grounds in universities and campuses and the Android Things is breaking barriers to provide more convenience to people.

Ritesh Mehta
Ritesh Mehta works as a senior Technical Account Manager in a software development company named TatvaSoft Australia based in Melbourne. He specializes in Agile Scrum methodology, Marketing Ops (MRM) application development, Android app development, SAAS & SOA application development, Offshore & Vendor team management. Also, he is knowledgeable and well-experienced in conducting business analysis, product development, team management and client relationship management.


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