NJ schools consider smart detectors to catch vaping students
Some New Jersey schools have used summer break to help prepare a new defense against an elusive issue: vaping on school grounds.
In Sussex County, Sparta High School was receiving a few pilot smart detectors to try out, as the district decides if the technology is one they want to adopt, according to Superintendent Michael Rossi Jr.
"Technology for areas of privacy, where cameras can't go," was the idea behind the device, called HALO, according to IPVideo Corp. President David Antar.
HALO detects vape smoke and vape with THC, and also features advance detection of "regular" smoke, carbon dioxide, propane, methane, light levels and air pressure, Antar said.
HALO devices are being used in at least 9 school districts in NJ, while the company also has received quote requests from close to 100 districts in the state, according to Antar.
Educators already had been looking for ways to detect bullying or other verbal cues in areas of privacy, when vaping took off in popularity, he said.
Plus, HALO has settings for audio analytics, to detect gunshots, glass breaking, or key words such as "fire," without recording to the device, to avoid privacy issues, Antar said.
A similar technology, "Fly Sense" developed by Soter, is being used in other schools, across 35 states, according to the company's website.
An FDA survey last fall showed a 78% spike in vaping among high schoolers, and a 48% increase among middle school students.
An online demonstration of the HALO vape detector can be seen, in the video below: