Iowa University tests high-tech escape system

Upper Iowa University and Lightstep Technologies Ltd. have formed a partnership to install technology on the campus that operates on the same principle as an aircraft’s emergency lighting that directs passengers to exit doors. However, this system thinks for itself, Brian Heaton writes in Government Technology.

The Lightstep system uses sensors that detect heat, smoke and chemicals and determines which hallways and rooms in a building are safe. It then calculates the safest route and turns on embedded light-emitting diode panels that use green arrows and red “X’s” to guide people to a safe place, according to the article.

The company plans to install the system in the school’s Fayette, Iowa, campus' student center, an academic building and a residence hall. The implementation, the Belfast, Ireland, company's first in the United States, should be fully operational there by January 2012, the article states.

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