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Beacon Technology Teaches International Students About Their Surroundings

The University of Lodz has adopted the SmartUni app, which enables its 1,200 international students to better understand their surroundings and receive updates, announcements and schedules based on their location on campus.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 02, 2015

The University of Lodz is using a beacon-based system that helps its international students to navigate their way around campus and the Polish city of Lodz, as well as manage their classes and schedules. The solution, installed in April of this year, consists of an app developed by proximity-based technology company Linteri, in addition to Bluetooth beacons provided by Kontakt.io.

The university has approximately 1,200 international students from around the world, many of whom are new to Poland, the university and the Polish language. Prior to the adoption of the app, known as SmartUni, these students had to visit administrative offices to receive a variety of forms related to their needs, but many lacked the Polish- or English-language skills necessary to understand and fill them out.

The university mounted 38 Kontakt.io Bluetooth beacons on ceilings and other hard-to-reach structures near its classrooms, administrative areas and dormitories.
"The documents included very limited information and was available only in English," says Łukasz Felsztukier, Linteri's founder and CEO.

"The major challenge was the lack of English-speaking personnel at the university, and limited information about the city life available in other languages," says Liliana Lato, who heads the school's International Relations Office. "We wanted to make our international guests less dependent on other students or the international office."

In addition to problems related to paperwork, Lato says, navigating through the campus was not easy, as the university's buildings are dispersed across the city. "Having the app made all those major problems go away," she states.

Łukasz Felsztukier, Linteri's CEO
The university worked with Linteri to develop an app that would enable students to manage their class and exam schedules, receive alerts regarding deadlines, and view announcements and information about events, in their own language. With beacons, however, the system becomes more intelligent, since it can help students to understand where they are on school property, in relation to where they want to be, and to receive location-based information—such as a schedule for entertainment or transportation in the area where they are located. The app is available in Chinese, Russian, English and Polish versions, via the Apple iTunes and Google Play websites.

Kontakt.io provided 38 Bluetooth beacons that the university then mounted on ceilings and other hard-to-reach structures near its classrooms, administrative areas and dormitories. Each beacon transmits its own unique identifier. When a user's smartphone comes within range of a beacon—about 70 meters (230 feet) outdoors and 20 meters to 30 meters (66 feet to 98 feet) indoors—it transmits that data to the app on a cloud-based server, where Linteri's content-management software links that data to location-based information that is then displayed on that individual's phone.

USER COMMENTS

Shubhi Mittal 2015-12-28 05:41:43 AM
Coupling mobile phones with innovative ideas, using iBeacon technology, opens a host of opportunities and makes the learning experience far more exciting. The beacon deployment at University of Lodz is a great example of it. Statistically speaking as well, according to a study by Pearson, 92% of students believe that tablets or smartphones could improve their learning experience. So, it is great to see education sector experimenting with technologies such as iBeacon. You might find the information here useful in relation to education and iBeacon technology http://blog.beaconstac.com/2015/04/education-the-next-beacon-hotspot/

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