The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to turn many of its 700,000 students into "smart sensors," to help keep the school facilities running smoothly.
The school system has quietly deployed a mobile phone application that allows users to easily report maintenance issues. Anyone with a smartphone -- students, teachers and parents -- who has downloaded the app, can take a photo of a maintenance issue, water leak, broken window or some other problem, and then send the report in for maintenance action.
With the ubiquity of apps and smartphones, and the improving integration of social media-type services with backend systems, using an app to record maintenance problems may seem like an obvious application. But what makes the LA school district's effort noteworthy is its scale. The district has around 700,000 students and 14,000 buildings located on 700 square miles of property.