Today’s students seek a connected educational experience that mirrors their digitally integrated lives. Smart campuses deliver just that.

By leveraging advanced technology, a smart campus streamlines access to services, operations and more. Smart campus solutions also protect students — and their sensitive data — against cybersecurity threats.

To achieve fully connected smart campuses, educational institutions need advanced mobile access solutions that simplify access management while minimizing security vulnerabilities.


What is a smart campus?


A smart campus, also known as a digital campus, is an educational environment enhanced with advanced technology to optimize facility management and costs, enrich learning experiences and streamline administrative operations. These interconnected campuses recognize the competitive value of providing students with the same smart technologies they are accustomed to in their homes and daily lives.

Through technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), 5G networks and logical access control, smart campuses revolutionize how institutions manage facilities and data to create a frictionless educational experience for all campus users.

A critical component of smart campus connectivity is mobile access control, which uses credentials stored in a digital wallet on students’ and staff members’ mobile devices. This provides identity and access management (IAM) capabilities for access to computers, printers, meal plans, parking and more. It can also be used to track class attendance and facilitate visitor management.

Educational institutions have traditionally issued students and staff magnetic stripe cards to access these services. However, magnetic stripe card readers can be unreliable and easily demagnetized, damaged or cloned and compromised. But on a smart campus, mobile access control replaces physical cards. This enhances security by using encrypted digital credentials that are much harder to duplicate.


Benefits of a smart campus


Smart campuses leverage mobile access control solutions to enhance security and operational efficiency, leading to significant benefits. By eliminating traditional stripe cards to access computer systems, campuses can significantly mitigate security vulnerabilities. The shift to mobile credentials reduces the risk of card theft and optimizes access management, making campus resources more secure and easier for students and staff to access.

Additionally, mobile access control improves overall campus safety by ensuring that only authorized individuals can enter certain locations, preventing potential security breaches. Smart campuses also unlock cost savings and speed, enabling students to quickly access and pay for services like printing, dining and more with a quick tap of their mobile device.


5 smart campus use cases for mobile credentials


From computer and classroom access to meal plans, mobile access control can help your educational institution improve accessibility, safety and reliability across campus operations. Here are several examples of what mobile credentials can unlock for higher education:


1. Computer, classroom and dorm access


It's common for students to forget their physical IDs, which can block their access to essential resources like computers, classrooms, dorms and gyms. But by storing mobile credentials on their smartphones — a device almost always at hand — you can ensure students have access when necessary, reducing disruptions to their academic activities. WAVE ID® readers provide secure access to campus facilities and expedite the identification process for a frictionless user experience. They also enable attendance tracking, which is critical for certain curriculums and programs.


2. Campus police and safety


With mobile access control, campus police can confirm student identification to boost safety. Readers like WAVE ID® support IAM and two-factor authentication (2FA) on various devices across campus (including laptops and mobile terminals in police vehicles) to enhance the security of sensitive information. During drills or emergencies, readers facilitate accountability and mustering by quickly convening and accounting for students and staff. Additionally, your institution can streamline visitor management through mobile applications that manage entry permissions and track visitor movements.


3. Meal plans


With a simple tap of their phones, students can effortlessly use their meal plans or make purchases at vending machines and campus cafeterias. Mobile access control simplifies transactions and enhances the student experience by reducing wait times and eliminating the need for physical cash or cards. WAVE ID® readers facilitate seamless integration into the smart campus infrastructure, enabling instant authentication and transaction approval for meal plans.


4. Secure printing


Printers are often overlooked as security risks. Left unsecured, they can become gateways for cyberattacks, exposing student records, research data and administrative information to unauthorized access. However, with the WAVE ID® SP Plus, your institution can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information via authentication measures at the printer.


5. Campus life


With mobile access control, the possibilities for connecting your campus are endless. For example, mobile apps for parking, university buses and shared bikes and scooters are just a few of the growing offerings used by students, staff and visitors that you can manage with mobile credentials. Additionally, location-based services and event management can provide directions to mobile users and track attendees at university events. You can also use mobile apps to deliver promotions directly to users to drive sales at campus bookstores and other campus retail locations.


Power a smart campus with mobile access control


Students today expect a smart, connected campus, while administrators expect secure and efficient digital systems. Mobile access control is key to meeting both groups’ expectations.

rf IDEAS can facilitate your current and future needs with readers that are compatible with top education credential providers including CBORD, Transact Campus and Atrium. By integrating our readers into your existing campus solutions, you can boost connectivity across your campus, improving campus life for everyone.

Get in touch with rf IDEAS to learn more about how our solutions can power your smart campus.

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