Feature Stories

SmartCampus

With its pioneering SmartCampus project, NJIT is a leader in using technology to improve campus life.

Think about the most popular Web sites of the past two years: MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Flickr, YouTube.... They’re all forms of virtual social networks. People create profiles and share opinions, pictures, and movies—all in an effort to meet new people, even if they never really meet in person.

A research team at NJIT wants to “put the place back in social networks.” The SmartCampus project—rolling out in spring 2007—aims to turn the NJIT campus into one of the world’s first locations to have a suite of "People to People to Geographical Places" systems (P3 for short) that covers the entire area.

How SmartCampus P3 Services Will Work
  • Students and faculty create user profiles, listing personal information, hobbies, tastes, opinions, pictures, movies, etc.
  • Users select the information they want to share and the types of people with whom they want to share it.
  • Using wireless-enabled devices like laptops, PDAs, cell phones, BlackBerries, etc., users can tap into a campuswide virtual social network that adapts to their physical location.

What P3 Can Do

  • The network can tell you when someone with similar interests and hobbies is typing at the computer across from you at the Tech Café.
  • Chat within smaller groups based on shared friends, activities, and interests.
  • Snap pictures with your cell phone, write captions, and instantly upload them to an interactive campus map for your friends to see.
  • Friends can leave virtual notes—when you enter the convenience store, a note pops up from your friend recommending the new flavor of Doritos.
  • You can receive updates about campus events happening near you.
  • Use CampusWiki to create and continuously edit each other’s entries describing and ranking every part of the NJIT universe, from professors to bathrooms to the changing leaves.
  • The SmartCampus SocialDesktop graphically visualizes a user's social network in a constantly moving web of classmates, friends, and friends-to-be.

The SmartCampus project has received $1.8 million in direct funding from the National Science Foundation , a Hewlett-Packard Technology for Teaching Grant, and support from NJIT's NSF Industry/University Collaborative Research Center for Information Protection (I/UCRC).