A Kolkata based IT company Future Netwings launched HIPLA, a unique technology platform that promises to resolve multiple child safety issues on school premises, in the presence of eminent educationists, principals and teachers, here on Tuesday.
The technology utilises beacons (small bluetooth transmitters) WiFi and GPS to track the whereabouts of the students-- indoors and outdoors respectively. The network of beacons, WiFi and GPS receive data, identity and location of the student/staff, from the chips embedded in the specially created ID cards.
In case, a student moves in a secluded area or a restricted space within the school campus, alerts are immediately generated, allowing school authorities to avoid any possible mishaps. Also, it is possible to identify gatherings of students who are known to create trouble, enabling the school staff to intervene in such situations. Further, they can also be alerted if a child leaves the school campus during school hours, or takes off his/her ID cards.
Parents can also track the whereabouts of their children through built-in GPS in the ID cards, when the child is not at school or in the school bus, with the help of a mobile application.
Future Netwings CEO Jaideep Chakrabarti claimed that the technology is far more scientific, specific and advanced in its application and usage compared to the CCTV and other surveillance devices used in schools.
"Unlike CCTV based surveillance systems which offer no real information, HIPLA provides real-time, actionable intelligence and reports," he said.
However, educationists present during the launch raised concerns over the health hazards chips can pose on the health of growing children when worn so close to body for long hours and prolonged period of time. Responding to the concern, a company representative said that since tracking is mostly done through beacons which utilise bluetooth waves, the impact on health will be nil.
Educationists also raised concern over the cost. The principal of a city school asked if the solution would not become too costly as students tend to lose their ID cards often. The chips used in the ID cards are currently manufactured outside India and cost a few dollars at the moment. But, very soon the chips will be manufactured in India, which will bring down the price, Chakraborty informed.
Many educationists also said that even though the technology is a good one, they were not sure if the students would want to be tracked so closely, making it difficult for the schools to implement the solution.
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