A person entering a toilet.

Campus digitised one toilet at a time

The digitalisation of the campuses is progressing quickly. In addition to applications that facilitate work and studies, technology has been integrated in restaurants and toilets.

This autumn, a new mobile app Cella will be released for the use of the staff and students of the University of Oulu. The app maps the workspaces and conference rooms available at any given time, making it easy to reserve a space right when you need it.

The app indicates how many people fit in the space and what kind of technology it is equipped with.

In recent years, the university has concentrated its facilities, which has created a situation where the needs of users are not always met by the spaces available. Some spaces are overbooked while others lie empty.

“We know that there is always space somewhere. The problem has also been in making people more aware of the other spaces,” says Digital Service Project Manager Harri Kaikkonen.

The app is not intended to replace the existing reservation systems. Staff and students can continue to reserve spaces in advance through Outlook, and teaching rooms are always reserved through the normal channel.

“This is just to make it easier to find and immediately reserve spaces,” says Kaikkonen.

Reikel replaces attendance notebooks

The Faculty of Medicine has launched a pilot of a mobile app for collecting attendance data. Previously, course attendance data had to be recorded in paper notebooks and then manually transferred to Excel. Thanks to the new app, the notebooks are finally about to become history.

“With the app, we can streamline the process and reduce the amount of manual labour,” says Digital Service Designer Erja Heikkinen.

Reikel is very simple to use. The teacher logs in with university login information, selects the correct teaching time, creates a code with a single click and shares the code with the students in attendance. The code is valid for a limited time period, during which the students must log into the app with their personal login information and enter the shared code.

The attendance data is automatically transferred to the background system, where study secretaries can view the progress of students. If it seems that students are falling behind the study plan for some reason, they can be offered support before they lose track completely.

“The greatest benefit of the app is the opportunity to support the progress of studies,” says Heikkinen.

It is planned that the use of the app will expand in a controlled manner after the end of the pilot period. At the moment, Reikel is being used on a few 1st-year courses.

More efficient cleaning through sensors

At the Linnanmaa Campus, sensor that measure visitor numbers and paper consumption have been installed in 11 public toilets in order to enhance the efficiency of cleaning. The sensors do not collect any identifiable data.

The sensor data is transmitted to the Katrin Live system. The data on visitor numbers makes it possible to schedule the cleaning correctly; busy toilets can be cleaned more often than less frequently used ones. The system also reports when toilets run out of hand towels or toilet paper. Real-time information makes cleaners’ work easier.

“This way, we can maintain facilities even better with the same resources. It is not a matter of cutting costs but rather of improving efficiency and quality,” says Real Estate Specialist Juha Waulu.

“We are the first university in the Nordic countries to adopt this system,” says Waulu. The system is currently being tested. If it proves useful, the use of sensors can be expanded to new toilets. It is also be technologically possible to link the system to the Oulu Campus Navigator app, which would enable users to see the location of the nearest vacant toilet.

Intelligent eating at Juvenes

Juvenes has launched a pilot of self-service payment terminals in two restaurants at the Linnanmaa Campus: Napa and Foobar. The aim is to provide smoother service and shorter queues during peak hours. In the restaurants, the customer pays first at the self-service terminal and only then proceeds to the tray line. The self-service payment terminals can be used by staff, students, post-graduate students and visitors. The self-service payment terminals only accepts card payments.

In addition to the self-service payment terminals, Juvenes is also starting a project to observe the routes of Napa customers in the restaurant and their behaviour in the line. The purpose of the project is to obtain information about the bottlenecks in the lines in order to provide smoother services in the future.

The staff can help at the payment terminals, if needed.

More information about the Juvenes projects is available here.

Campus navigator helps you find your way

In early autumn, a new mobile app called the Oulu Campus Navigator was released to help members of the university community and visitors navigate the Linnanmaa Campus. The app shows the user’s position on a map and can find rooms located on all floors of the university. The app has already proved popular with almost 2,300 downloads to date.

Oulu Campus Navigator at Play Store and App Store.

Last updated: 16.10.2019