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Safety goes hi-tech at new GIIS SMART Campus

Best technologies are the ones that are unseen, work tirelessly to make our lives easier, more convenient and in this case safer. Staple of science fiction stories, facial recognition, is in place in the new GIIS SMART Campus to keep its 3,500 students safe and secure.

They do not have a fancy name like Skynet in Terminator movies for it yet, but the facial recognition programme will get active the day students move into the hi-tech campus on July 2, less than a fortnight away.  

In addition to the security guards who will be present 24/7 at the campus gates, every entry and exit point within the campus is controlled through biometrics-operated turnstiles.

Photo courtesy: GIIS
Photo courtesy: GIIS

The facial recognition machines will also be placed outside every classroom for the purpose of attendance and classroom access. Each student has their face print identification carried out in the school.

The facial recognition device opens doors to all who are identifiable through the hands-free system. Once the child is inside the classroom, it will be amply clear to the school which class a particular child is attending.

This system thus assigns a safety aspect to its duty as it will account for every student on the premises.  It will save teachers time and effort by eliminating the manual marking of attendance. This time can be used for other productive activities.

Photo courtesy: GIIS
Photo courtesy: GIIS

“This will eradicate the traditional need for teachers to manually mark students’ attendance and teachers can use this extra time for other lesson needs,” said Mr Atul Temurnikar, Chairman and co-founder of GIIS.

Active use of facial recognition to solve a problem places GIIS in the elite category of brands like Facebook, Amazon, American airlines Jetblue and perhaps the first in the world to use it on an educational facility. Singapore's Changi International Airport is also considering adopting the technology for locating passengers in transit.  

Parents can now be more assured that their child is within the secure confines of the school and the classroom once inside the campus. Each classroom, locked from the inside, will also provide a safe environment for the child to study, learn, imagine, explore and innovate.

Photo courtesy: GIIS
Photo courtesy: GIIS

The new biometric system is coupled with the RFID technology in Smart ID cards given to students and CCTV cameras guarding the campus.

In addition, more than 600 CCTV cameras deployed across the campus, will provide an added layer of safety to students and their belongings.  

“The safety of all our students is of utmost importance to us in this sprawling new campus. Facial Recognition is one such technology that can be used to secure the presence of our students within the premises,” Mr Atul said. “Students will use the facility to mark their presence when moving from one classroom to the other.”

“Besides this, the 600 CCTV cameras serve as an added level of security for all students when they are on the campus. These facilities were included after an extensive discussion with teachers, staff and experts, to make sure every child is safe in the school, and carry out their education in a secure environment,” he added.

Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Correspondent

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.