OCAD U to use mobile app to improve campus security
In the wake of recent on campus security issues at some of Toronto's university and college campuses it's nice to see OCAD U taking a proactive approach with the adoption of new, student-friendly technology. What's even better is that the technology is being provided by Guardly (see our previous post on them here), a start-up based in Toronto with 5 full time employees.
I connected with Guardly CEO Josh Sookman earlier this week who told me their implementation of Guardly on OCAD U's campus comes after a rigorous beta testing period that lasted almost two years and resulted in Guardly making a number of improvements to their offering based on student feedback. The company happens to be a graduate of OCAD U's Mobile Experience Innovation Centre incubator program, where a six-month residency led to the development of the technology's core infrastructure and Guardly's first iPhone app.
Students can use the Guardly app to alert security to campus emergencies. The app will automatically transmit details like their location, identification and profile information (such as any allergies, medical conditions etc.) making it faster and more efficient for security personnel to respond accordingly. During an incident, dispatchers can also speak with a caller by phone or engage in a conversation by secure instant messaging.
The app is available on all major platforms including iPhone, Android, Windows and Blackberry. OCAD students can find more info here.
Sookman tells me Guardly will now look to offer this solution to campuses across North America and that they're already in discussions with some other institutions in Canada and south of the border.