Bits & Bytes
AN ELECTRONIC KEY TO TRACKING CAMPUS CRIME
A DALLAS COMPANY CALLED Personal Security & Safety Systems Inc. has come up with a new way to increase safety on college campuses. Each student is given a keychain-size radio transmitter to carry at all times. Should crime strike or an emergency arise, the student pushes a button on the device, and campus security is alerted instantly. At the campus police office, a digital map of the campus displays just where the trouble is and where the nearest security officers are. The screen might even call up a digitized photo of the person carrying that particular transmitter, along with pertinent medical information.
How does it work? When activated, the transmitter emits a digitally encoded signal that arrives at numerous receivers on the campus at slightly different times. Using triangulation, the system's computer then calculates where the transmitter is located. The cost of the system--$100 a year per student--would be added to student fees. Tests have been held at the University of Kansas. EDITED BY IRA SAGER