Florida Southern’s Department of Campus Safety and Security will be launching a personal safety mobile application for students within the next few weeks.
The new security system will replace the outdated SE3 Series Subscriber Transmitters released in 2011 by Bosch Security Systems. Also known as the “grey-key fob” system, the transmitters came at a cost of $50/year per student and were required for first-years.
The old system was subject to issues such as lightning strikes on one of the ground lines or the key fobs malfunctioning. With the new mobile app, as long as students keep their smartphone on their person and charged, there will be fewer limitations and interferences.
Once the app is released, students will need to create an account with identifying information such as their name, campus residence, hair and eye color, height, weight, etc. Students will also be able to input an emergency contact list, with the ability to immediately notify those contacts in the case of an emergency.
“It [the application] has the ability of allowing, if you hit an emergency response, automatically you can hit ‘video’ and start sending us video of what’s going on,” Rauch said. “I can’t tell you how valuable that is.”
One of the features of the app is what Rauch called the “journey” feature where students can program a walk and the application will keep track of the student while on that walk. If the student does not make it to their destination within an allotted time frame, the Safety office is immediately notified of that student’s current location.
“I think the walk feature will be very beneficial,” junior Kevin Medina said. “It will definitely be a step up from the grey buttons and a step into the 21st century.”
With the use of geo-fencing, the app has the ability to send message alerts that are specific to one’s current location.
“If there is a situation at LHA [Lake Hollingsworth Apartments], the new system recognizes if you are not living in LHA, but your phone is being picked up within that geofenced area and it will send the alert message also to you,” Rauch said.
Since the app is not yet released, students should call 911 in case of an emergency in the interim.
The Southern will be doing a soft-preview of the new mobile application and will bring you all the updates and information about the new system as it is released.