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Students present their Real-Time Communications projects

Real-Time Communication Students

Illinois Institute of Technology students presented their Real-Time Communications projects to a crowd of communications professionals.  Students researched, tested and deployed solutions as part of the project-based learning approach at the School of Applied Technology.  Students provided a working system and had to defend it to a crowd of industry professionals – some with 30 years of experience.

Student presentations covered a wide range of topics from interconnected VoIP services to blue tooth beacons. Student project descriptions are outlined below.  

Real Time Communications Lab Projects and Activities: Director Carol Davids provided a very brief overview of the projects active in the lab this semester. These include the following.

Interconnected VoIP Services: Students built small VoIP services using different Proxies and Back-to-Back User Agents. They will show how calls flow between their systems and to our emergency services backbone network (ESInet) and to the PSTN. An application that masks emergency calls from evil do-ers will also be demonstrated. Thanks to our industry partners, SignalWire, Telnyx and NexVortex for their support for these projects.

BlueTooth and Sensor Array (BOSSA) Platform Developments: An array of BlueTooth Low Energey (BLE) beacons whose locations are recorded in a cloud-based database is used to identify the indoor location of emergency callers as well as to supply temperature, humidity, air-pressure and other environmental data. Students will describe applications, operations and experiments related to this platform and what it can do to support Smart Cities, Smart Buildings and Emergency Services. Project include: 

BLE Beacon development:  RUUVI Beacons provide more functions and more programmability than the AXA beacons we told you about in previous semesters. The RUUVIs can advertise not only their IDs but also the readings obtained from their on-board temperature, humidity, air-pressure and acceleration sensors. 

BlueTooth Gateway development: Gateways are used to provide administrative support for the array and also to transmit temperature, humidity, air pressure and acceleration at administratively-controlled intervals. We'll talk about their design and operation. We experimented with using Raspberry Pi's instead of our RedBear chips and will report progress.

New installations: This semester students installed beacons in a building with large open spaces. They will describe the process and the results of experiments to determine the accuracy of our indoor location algorithm in this new environment.

Experimentation: We did a series of experiments designed to identify how the Received Signal Strength (RSSI) varies with distance, temperature and with a variety of different environments and obstacles: walls, doors, indoors, outdoors and more. Interested in learning how long our beacons would continue to broadcast in a burning building we exposed one to flames and recorded its behavior. The experimentation team will report many interesting results!

Project teams are led by Professor Carol Davids, adjunct faculty and Director of the Real-Time Communications Lab at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She can be reached at

Learn more about the Real-Time Communications Lab  (