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Students Pioneer Lighting App

Bringing intelligence to urban lighting.

As technology keeps developing, it is critical to ensure whatever we build is future proof, or built to be utilized in a smarter way.

The Illinois Institute of Technology encourages students to get involved in research and develop applications. As IIT Computer Science graduate students, Christopher Hannon, Haohua Du, and I explored new smart city ideas.

As cities and their partner companies explore ways to improve the efficiency and value of smart street lights, we felt that we could add another dimension to the Smart Streetlight system by utilizing lighting to enhance safety for the public.

This enabled us to build two novel applications for the next generation smart streetlight system. Our goal was to develop an application framework that people can use to promptly request help and alert the surroundings in case of any emergency. We have developed an Emergency Response Indicator and Emergency Mobile App as an important step towards this goal.

The emergency response indicator application is integrated with the physical 911 call buttons on campus to enable adjacent streetlights flash as warning signals upon the activation of a call button. 

The emergency mobile application is designed to minimize the user’s action. With a single click on the smartphone, the user will be able to send his or her current location and enable the nearby lights to blink continuously.

These applications not only alert the public nearby but also aid emergency responders.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Silver Spring Networks, allied with the Illinois Institute of Technology’s CSMART Smart Grid Lab, helped The Energy Times secure this article.


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