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It might sound like the future, but IoT ecosystems and computer vision are no longer ‘coming soon’ and very much ‘happening now.’ Educational institutions, public sector organisations and small businesses are integrating this technology into their digital transformation plans. In this article, we look at the technology that goes into creating an IoT ecosystem and what benefits it can deliver.

A new vision of physical spaces

2020 made us all acutely aware of people and spaces, as we were counted in and out of supermarkets, checked for wearing a mask and directed to keep six feet apart. Most of this was done manually, relying on someone to keep watch and keep count. And although the pandemic suddenly made it essential to know what was happening inside venues, organisations were already aware that they lacked visibility into the behaviour of people and things in their environment – leaving them with a ‘data blind spot’.

IoT is illuminating

Today, we’ve reached a point where IoT technology is capable of solving this issue in convenient and affordable ways. Cisco Meraki MV cameras are intelligent IoT sensors, capable of watching, learning and automating actions, based on what they see. They can recognize people, objects and vehicles, processing what they hear and see in real time, and feeding this information to insightful dashboards. This gives you an entirely new level of visibility into events in your physical environment and, more importantly, enables you to act on that information.

Meraki MV Cameras are your eyes and ears on the ground, having light sensors and microphones built in, so they are able to report on smoke detection or listen for alarms. In addition, Meraki’s MT sensors can monitor temperature, humidity, leaks and intrusion, sending automated alerts if something needs attention. Unlike old security cameras, there’s no need for costly, complex DVR storage and high bandwidth networks with Meraki. Video is encrypted on the camera, and you can stream footage locally or use remote streaming to view it anywhere.

A whole world of possibilities – Meraki Technology Partners

There’s plenty Meraki MV can do straight out of the box, but you can explore even more use cases via Meraki Technology Cloud software solutions. Building on Meraki MV, there’s a whole range of ready-to-use apps that use cutting-edge AI to help you boost health and safety, streamline operations and improve space utilization, through data-rich dashboards and alerting. As people return to work and education, computer vision can give you certainty over how many people are present in any space and if they are complying with safety measures, with alerts to ensure distancing, mask-wearing and maximum room occupancy. Apps also let you make use of vehicle data, whether that’s parking counts and occupancy or individual number plates, helping you better manage traffic flows and security. It’s all cloud-based, which means you can monitor your entire premises from your computer screen, and the data can be shared with all relevant stakeholders – Operations, Estate Management, Student Welfare Officers, HR and Customer Experience.

End-to-end location monitoring – Cisco DNA Spaces

For organizations that are looking for comprehensive location monitoring and want access to the widest portfolio of solutions, it’s worth finding out more about Cisco DNA Spaces and it’s extensive IoT Marketplace of third-party sensors. Using Cisco Wi-Fi 6 Access Points, it’s simple to deploy an IoT solution, such as low-cost BLE tags to provide high-value, real-time location monitoring and alerting. This enables you to track critical assets and monitor staff, students and employees, giving you insight into movement flows across any campus or building. If you’re interested in location monitoring, Stone Group can provide Cisco DNA solutions as part of an Education or Public Sector technology ecosystem.

What can computer vision do for your organization?

The best way to start answering that question is to talk to us. At Stone Group, we have long-standing experience with Education and Public Sector customers, and can help you define what you need from an IoT solution. Whether you go down the Meraki MV route or choose Cisco location-based services, we can accelerate your deployment and ensure you get the outcome you want.

To find out more, call us on 08448 549 800 or email

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