Drones Doing Bad or Doing Good?
Drones Doing Bad or Doing Good? A growing number of utilities, ports, and stadiums though are concerned about the dark side of drones. For example, some security operations are using or considering small radar technology to alert to drone intrusions. And drones have intruded into sports stadiums and parades, peeked into windows and landed on the White House lawn.
On the other hand, experts at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business say drones are already into law enforcement and security applications. “We are missing out on a commercial opportunity that other countries have already embraced,” says Smith School professor Oliver Schlake, a drone hobbyist who challenges his MBA students to develop business applications for the technology. Hank Lucas, another Smith School professor who wrote “The Search for Survival: Lessons from Disruptive Technologies,” says the impact will be immense as more companies discover commercially viable applications for drones. “It’s well beyond our imagination,” he says.
Storm watch: Drones can fly into the eye of a hurricane or hover over an active volcano, sending back data without risking lives. Global Hawk drones developed by Northrop Grumman can monitor stormy areas for up to 30 hours, generating data not available any other way.
Search and rescue: After severe storms hit Texas and Oklahoma in May 2015, the FAA sent drones from one of its test sites to search for survivors along the Blanco River.
Security: Drones equipped with headlamps, cameras, and alarms can startle intruders and records their movements – and they often can arrive at the scene faster than police or private security officers. A company with commercial security contracts in New Zealand plans to deploy the technology by the end of 2015.
Innovation and technology as applied to the security industry can, not surprisingly, be a two-edged sword. Still, the good side of that tech sword can slice through crime prevention, situational awareness, forensics and other security tasks with ease.
One example: Innovative integration through diverse software is squeezing more value out of enterprise investments in security technology that evolves from protection and into the natural workflow of an organization.
At Austin Hall in the College of Business at Oregon State University in Corvallis, a security management system (VI Connect from Vanderbilt) represents one of the most unique systems integration projects within the higher education market.
The technology seamlessly integrates building access control into a single data management solution that not only enables school officials to streamline door access, but also allows students and staff to reserve one of 21 project rooms in the facility simply by using their existing credential. In addition to the project rooms, the building also features classrooms, faculty conference rooms, IT closets, a four-room research suite, a mailroom and an assortment of event spaces.
To help manage access control at Austin Hall, which includes credentials for approximately 4,500 students each semester, Kirk Wydner, operating systems network analyst for the College of Business, and his team chose to take an innovative and integrated approach.
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