Internet of Things

Netherlands College Fixes Empty Classroom Problem with IoT Platform

A college in the Netherlands has deployed an Internet of Things (IoT) solution built by Microsoft that lets the institution manage classroom usage around campus.

Drenthe College — despite having opened a number of buildings over the last decade to accommodate its growing 11,000-student body — was finding it difficult to find open classrooms to use, according to a blog post from Microsoft.

At the same time, parts of campus remained empty: Officials measured classroom usage in the afternoons, finding up to 35 percent of rooms were often empty. On average, students and teachers were spending up to 15 minutes looking for an open classroom.

On Campus Technology

Forward-thinking CIOs are exploring the potential of IoT technologies in higher education and heading off challenges along the way. Read the story here.

The solution? Drenthe College installed 500-plus Bluetooth-enabled sensors around campus with help from Netherlands-based Winvision, a Microsoft CityNext partner. The technology was selected to measure capacity as well as update the campus’s scheduling system to allow more on-the-fly-meetings, the post noted.

The sensors send data through an Azure IoT Hub that is connected to the campus scheduling system, which provides real-time updates on room availabilities. The college also worked with Winvision to develop a mobile app for students and staff to see not just whether a room is available, but its temperature, sound, movement, humidity, CO2 levels and other amenities.

As a result, the college reports saving nearly $164,000 annually in infrastructure and maintenance costs.  

To learn more, watch the video below or visit the Microsoft blog.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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