Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Montclair State Uses GPS Cell Phones for Campus Security

Montclair State University, N.J., has launched a mobile phone program with a GPS feature that lets students alert campus safety personnel of their location anytime they are feeling unsafe.

The program, called Rave Guardian, allows students to activate a timer on their mobile phone that alerts campus security if it is not turned off within a set period of time. If the alarm goes off, campus safety will call the phone to ensure everything is all right. If there is no answer or there is a problem, the system displays the student's location along with any other pertinent information, such as medical conditions, photograph, and local address.

Since the system uses the same GPS technologies as E911 emergency centers, students can use it on- or off-campus and anywhere in the U.S. The program was developed at Montclair State with Rave Wireless, a provider of GPS-based mobile phone "lifestyle" applications. Using the system, students can also identify the GPS location of campus shuttle buses, as well as check class assignment changes, get specials at local merchants, and share their GPS location with friends.

Montclair State President Susan Cole said "our students lead active lifestyles, so whether they're running to class or meeting a friend at night, they have peace of mind in knowing that, if they wish, someone can know where they are and where they are going, and help can be immediately on the way if needed."