Magazine article University Business

Campus Team Develops Personal Safety Devices

Magazine article University Business

Campus Team Develops Personal Safety Devices

Article excerpt

J. Barry DuVall is on a mission to make the college campus a safer place. As director of the Technology Advancement Center at East Carolina University (N.C.), he and his team are working on several pilot projects that will give students handheld persona[ safety devices.

In DuVall's opinion, the handheld devices go one better than the emergency phones prevalent on many campuses. As helpful as such telephones can be, they are limited because they are stationary while students are mobile, says DuVall. And, while cell phone technology may seem to be an easy answer, the carrier signals are not reliable enough in every campus building to be effective, he adds.

That's why DuVall and his team are testing and developing personal safety devices with built-in panic buttons.

One press will alert campus police to a student in danger. Think of this as the student version of the "Help me, I've fallen and I can't get up," button device made popular in a TV commercial some years back.

DuVall says that two murders last spring at University of North Carolina-Wilmington helped him focus even more on his work. …

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