University and college attendance system has been going through many evolutions. From a fully manual paper based, semi computerized (e.g. using spreadsheet) to a fully computerized system (e.g. stand alone or web-based application). In the era of IoT, attendance systems evolve a step ahead by incorporating devices to smoothen the attendance taking process.
One of the popular solution proposed nowadays is by using RFID technology. Although relatively cheap and easy to implement, RFI attendance system has a few disadvantages. Among others, students need to be equipped with RFID card (either passive RFID or active RFID) and the cost of the RFID card is either borne by the college or cascaded down to student fees. Secondly, RFID reader must be installed in each venue (i.e. classrooms and lecture halls). RFID reader must be attached to a computer or must have network interface to transmit data to a server. It also need electricity to power up. Commonly, short range RFID is used. This can result in bottleneck at the reader especially when involving large number of students and only a few readers.
In this project, we are proposing a smart attendance system using mobile apps as student ID and Bluetooth beacons as readers. Students are authenticated using the mobile apps and the apps communicates with the Bluetooth beacon. The mobile apps will eliminate the cost of producing Student ID cards. Bluetooth beacons are cheap and low in power usage, thus can be installed in many locations at reasonable cost. In an open space, a mobile phone can be transformed into a beacon and be a reader to take attendance of large number of students. Thus, this eliminate the needs of electrical power, physical networks setup and other related communication medium. In this scenario, college can take attendance effectively and at a very minimum cost.