Real Time Communications Featured Article

Learn How One University Campus is Now Leveraging WebRTC to Keep Students Safe

November 23, 2015

Safety – it’s something every mom thinks about, especially when she prepares to send a child off to seek higher education. While the student may be ready for the world, mom isn’t ready to turn him or her over to just anyone, yet. It’s the reason they practice due diligence before agreeing to let them go and it’s the reason we still need access to real-time communications in order to stay in touch.

While that real-time communications is important so mom can feel reassured, it’s also important that her child can stay in touch with campus safety. This new adult is still vulnerable. After all, the student ready to take on 15 hours of college classes is still just five years old – right? It can seem that way, which makes applications focused on safety and communications all the more important.

Now that WebRTC is ready for the big time, applications are appearing on the market, designed to make the most of its extensive capabilities. For Towson University, SaferMobility is a WebRTC-based application put in place to ease the communication process between students and public safety staff. As long as your student has a mobile deice, you can breathe easy.

A recent No Jitter post shares an example of how this real-time communications solution works in the real world. Towson University is a regional public university outside of Baltimore with roughly 22,000 students. SaferMobility resulted from a startup recognizing the opportunity to reinvent the 9-1-1 application, a system that was originally designed for landline phones.

Image via Pixabay

The opportunity to dramatically reduce company development time was found in the use of WebRTC technology. It would also enable the app to deliver video and voice capabilities on public safety officer’s PC workstations as well as end-user mobile devices. To accomplish this, the company used WebRTC open source libraries for Android and iOS mobile clients. The resulting architecture consists of the client application, the public safety console and the cloud-based server software.

The safety application is now fully deployed at Towson University. Students are downloading and registering the client software. The mobile client enables students and faculty to hold real-time two-way voice, text and video calls with Campus public safety staff as necessary. All real-time communications are logged and recorded, allowing for easy retrieval at a later date or to serve as evidence in court proceedings.

The success of this app demonstrates that WebRTC is ready for the mainstream. And while the mechanics of the technology may not make a lot of sense to moms sending their kids off to college, understanding the technology can help keep their students safe is a win-win. 

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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