Student team develops new emergency mass alert device

May 14, 2018

A team of students at RIT has come up with a new way to send out mass notifications on campus in the event of an emergency. Their digital clock can receive digital alerts to display on the screen when emergency coordinators have to reach students, staff and campus visitors in a hurry.

Clockwyse device (upper left) displays time on wall - unti there is an emergency.
Credit Tyler Krupicka

Tyler Krupicka is one of the computer engineering students who developed the prototype. He says the device, called Clockwyse, can be made using consumer tablets and PCs. Mounted on the wall in a classroom or common area, it simply displays the time - until there's an emergency.

"If there's an emergency it visually starts flashing and drawing your attention and it starts beeping,” Krupicka said. “Then it will display the full text of the emergency broadcast so you can immediately respond and now how you're supposed to either evacuate or lock down."

The emergency mass notification clock has an advantage over text messages, according to Krupicka, since not everyone on campus will have updated their information with the school, and cell phone reception is not always guaranteed.

Krupica and his team members, Ketan Reddy and Jeremiah Zucker, won the top prize in RIT’s first STEAM competition. The contest was sponsored by RIT’s Center for Public Safety Initiatives. The goal was to encourage students to find ways to solve public safety problems through the use of science, technology, engineering, art and math.

The team plans to use its $5,000 prize to further develop its product.