CBORD releases virtual escort for college campuses
ITHACA, N.Y.—CBORD Group Inc. has released Pathlight, a “virtual escort solution” for college security departments.
Pathlight, tested at the University of San Francisco, allows students to opt into GPS tracking of their Apple and Android phones to advise campus safety personnel when they are walking alone. The interface requires students to input their destination and how long they think the think the trip will take, and the data is then sent to safety dispatchers. Updates are possible if more time is needed, and students can press a “Help” button notifying security that immediate assistance is needed. Students must notify security, with another press of a button, that they have arrived at their destination safely.
If a student requests help, does not meet his/her arrival time, or if one of several other criteria are met, including taking the wrong direction, an alarm brings the student’s location and information to dispatchers’ attention.
The system, available 24 hours a day, is intended for situations where students typically wouldn’t request an in-person escort for traveling a short distance, such as from a building to their car. It works in conjunction with CBORD’s CS Gold campus card system.
“Pathlight improves service by making it easy for students to opt into a virtual safety escort at any time,” Jason Rossi, director of One Card and Campus Security Systems at the University of San Francisco, said in a prepared statement. “It reduces costs because, instead of having our officers out all night doing personal escorts, they can be patrolling. Those freed-up resources add up to real cost savings. Finally, its discrete mobile format improves security by encouraging more students to opt into the virtual safety escort, and it helps us respond to any incidents with greater situational awareness. Our dispatchers can see exactly where the students are on a map, and they can derive from that which exterior cameras may have the right fields of view to give us even better information.”
In-person escorts remain available upon request at any time on the USF campus, according to its website.