Universities are becoming smarter

Eckell-ektron David Eckell July 30, 2018

CommScope_SmartSpaces_Connectivity_Graybar(Note: The following has been submitted as a guest post to CommScope Blogs by David Eckell, Emerging Technologies & CIG Market Manager, Graybar. Opinions and comments provided in this guest post, as with all posts to CommScope Blogs, are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CommScope.)

Since the advent of the first smartphone in 1994, the world has been increasingly at our fingertips. We can immediately use our mobile devices to search out just about anything we want to know. As we progress over the next few years, new information will be available to us as the Internet of Things (IoT) adds a technology layer to our lives. It will transform the world into smart spaces that will use data and possibly artificial intelligence to manipulate our environment in so many ways.

CLICK TO TWEET: The key to transforming any location into a smart space begins with understanding the current and future needs of a sound IT infrastructure.

This new world of smart spaces that inform us is just beginning to take shape across many aspects of our lives. Universities are an example of establishments taking the lead in transforming their spaces to improve sustainability, safety and overall student experience.

Sustainability is a key driver for many campuses that are seeking to reduce waste. For example, George Washington University has placed energy monitoring devices around the campus to understand and report on energy usage. At Arizona State University, they monitor water usage in their stadium after football games to ensure that no faucets are running to reduce water usage.

For improved safety, Columbus State University is using an app paired with hundreds of Bluetooth beacons across the campus to enable students and faculty to report safety concerns or suspicious behavior with accurate location data. Sometimes data can be used to make life easier. At the University of Oklahoma, beacons and apps help users navigate resources in its seven-story library. Grove City College expands on the use of wayfinding across the college, incorporating self-guided tours and resource availability.

These are but a few ways that a campus can innovate with their smart space transformation as they incorporate things like concession line wait times, parking spot availability and threat identification using surveillance systems, to name a few.

The key to transforming any location into a smart space begins with understanding the current and future needs of a sound IT infrastructure. A university can achieve this by identifying current power and connectivity needs while being prepared for the possibilities presented by IoT and emerging technologies. Let CommScope and Graybar help you start the journey. In the meantime, tell us what other apps or devices are being used on campuses to help their students and faculty.

About the Author


David Eckell

David Eckell currently works for Graybar and is tasked with discovering and implementing emerging technologies in the data communications space. In David’s role, he works with suppliers, industry leaders and innovators to understand the continuing impact that evolving technology has on our customers and the markets they operate within in an effort to better serve their needs over time.  David brings 20 years of industry experience having worked for telecom service providers, manufacturers of networking gear and fiber optic components as well as distributors of mobility and networking infrastructure solutions.  During this time he worked in a variety of engineering, sales, marketing and product management roles.  David graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1994 with a BS in Electrical Engineering and received an MBA from East Carolina University in 2011.  He currently lives in the St. Louis area with his ever so understanding wife and two phenomenal children.