Applying IoT Solutions in Educational Institutions: AIDC & Mobility in Perspective


Educational institutions, such as schools & universities, have intensive daily transactions regarding its people, books, documents assets, vehicles among many. Achieving efficiency in all transactions and being secure require tracking all in real time and automatically. Here is a quick summary of the “things” to monitor:




Control/ feedback:



guard regular tour

Building control sensors



cleaning man tour




maintenance check points



Assets & devices

people flow & behaviour

vending machines


food & beverages

buses tour locations



Being like any business building, a college requires common systems such as fire alarm systems, air conditioning, building management system, etc which are not much within the scope of this article. This article focuses on what the technologies of automatic identification, data capture, and mobility can achieve for a college. The number of applicable solutions are almost limitless.


IFG 99 Main slide poster to LIN 3nd pbl




The above infographic and the full explanation table bring up an example of an educational institution implementing some of these technologies. It has been assumed that the ID badge is a multi-purpose card for access control, general user identification and a prepaid wallet for college purposes. Additionally, many solutions of labeling can be either simple barcodes, RFID or both.

Granting identification tags is the first essential step:

Looking at the table above, there are two main technologies for granting identity tags to whatever is tracked:

  1. Paper Labels (barcode and/or RFID)
  2. ID card badges (using different options: barcode, mag strip and RFID)

And some minor applications can use:

  1. RFID tags (passive and active) to tag clothes and some assets
  2. Biometric identification (fingerprint or face recognition)
  3. Optical technologies: OMR (Optical Mark Readers) and OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

Application Software:

An educational institution requires several applications to run various departments or one single dedicated package with comprehensive different modules These can run on college server, cloud SAAS or both. However, since most identification tagging is done using labels and ID cards, both require relevant professional software packages that deal with their label and card hardware printers respectively. Usually both the labeling software and the badge printing software have professional printing features especially connecting to the application software so as to source the databases of printed data (student names, book names, list of assets, etc.)

amer applying iot 2

Overall Benefits:

1- Automating all face-to-face transactions (POS, lending, etc) with students and teachers

2- When applicable, having self-service points such as vending machines and information kiosks

3- Using the ID card in all locations in the college to get identified and to use the card as a payment method

4- Turning all data into analytic tools to extract valuable statistics that leads to better decisions for more efficiency

5- Enhancing security of people, properties, material and vehicles

6- Continuous monitoring of all events to solve conflicts and quarrels among people

7- Finally, all common benefits of reducing paper work, reducing labor, and eliminating human writing and data entry errors.

Whether you are a solution provider of such systems or the customer of them, the above is a checklist to follow and apply gradually. When students realize during their education period the amount of automation in their institution, they will have learned indirectly a course in IoT.

Related articles:

Implementing Labeling Solutions to an Educational Institution: A Comprehensive Overview

The [Infographic] Definition of Automatic Identification & Data Collection Technologies

About myself and my writings:

I have been implementing automatic identification, data capture technologies, and mobility over 20 years in domains of manufacturing, retail, logistics, government and security. The accumulated experience and continuous follow up on latest emerging technologies help me to contribute writings about current trends and highlight challenges. I try to bring up diagrams, infographics, and  cartoons along each topic to clarify concepts in a simple way. I welcome all comments.

This infographic is GENERIC and educational. It is not biased to any specific technology, supplier or brand. It can help any salesperson to explain general neutral concepts to prospects. It can also help the customers to realize what to expect from these systems.

By: Mohammad Amer Shallah, Auto-ID Support,

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