Today, we’re going to be taking a look into geofencing. You may have heard of a geofence before, but never thought about how it pertains to you and your safety. A lot of apps use geofencing nowadays, and you can even use it to set reminders for yourself. If you’re heading home and need to pick up your dry-cleaning, you can set a geofencing reminder to let you know when you’re nearing the dry cleaners. This is a great resource to look at the simplicity of geofencing in your personal life: https://www.howtogeek.com/221077/htg-explains-what-geofencing-is-and-why-you-should-be-using-it/
While using geofencing in your personal life is useful, it doesn’t do much to help keep you safe… Unless you’re using a safety app system. A lot of schools, larger corporations, cities and counties are now using geofencing that’s integrated into their safety app systems that they’re implementing.
For example, a college university can set their geofencing parameters around their school campus, school buildings, parking lots, and even establishments nearby that are frequented often by staff and students. As stated in the article posted “Geofencing is the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and/or local radio-frequency identifiers (such as Wi-Fi nodes or Bluetooth beacons) to create virtual boundaries around a location. The geofence is then paired with a hardware/software application that responds to the boundary in some fashion as dictated by the parameters of the program”. What does that mean to a student or faculty member at the university? This means that while you’re in those set parameters, if you need to let campus police know of an emergency situation, it’s as simple as opening the app and and sharing your location with them. So if you’re in a situation where you can’t talk, you can share your location. If you contact campus police, they can find you quickly. If you want to submit an anonymous tip, you can share precisely where the incident is happening.
The other incredible thing about geofencing is that it can be set anywhere. For example, if you’re a student and you’re traveling abroad, your school can set a geofence around the area that you’ll be traveling to. If an emergency situation arises abroad, you can have the peace of mind knowing that you can always contact local authorities without having to try and find that information yourself.
Apps that use a geofence are also great if you’re in a tall building. Most GPS apps cannot tell authorities where you are vertically. Companies like 911Cellular offer you the ability to be found in buildings as tall as 100 stories high. We mentioned this on our website, and you can read about it here: http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/TechnicalNotes/NIST.TN.1962.pdf