Cell Phones As A Mass Emergency Notification Device
Technology companies are combining forces to create personal environmental threat detectors out of cell phones and PDAs. Combined with a nationwide sensor network and GPS, cell-phone-detector systems could save millions of lives by identifying major threats quickly, even before they occur. Deployment is close to fruition because many of the sensors are already in place.
Gentag Inc. and eV Products are working together to develop and deploy low-cost threat-detection cell phones that could form the basis of a low-cost nationwide network of defense mechanisms against terrorist strikes and/or accidental biohazard events.
“Our technology provides the components to address the Department of Homeland Security’s announced vision of creating a low-cost, nationwide, wireless, sensor-network blanket based on cell phones,” says Dr. John Peeters, the founder of Gentag.
Rick Smith, manager of Global Marketing & Sales at eV Products, concurred, saying that “Our line of miniature, mobile sensors is enabling the mass deployment of ubiquitous, smart, radiation-sensor systems in devices like cell phones.”
Also developing a cell phone technology is Airwide Solutions, provider of mobile messaging infrastructure and applications. They are entering the messaging infrastructure industry’s drive to make better use of mobile phones to aid in emergency situations. The Airwide Emergency Messaging Solution (EMS) is the first carrier-class system to help operators meet the growing need for public safety notifications, leveraging the resource of global handset support for text messaging. Unlike other systems that initiate one message for each recipient, Airwide EMS initiates one message that is delivered to multiple subscribers.
Text messaging is an effective and reliable means of communicating during an emergency situation according to Airwide, and is a powerful way to reach people on the move or away from conventional media (i.e. television and radio).
“The universal support for text messaging worldwide makes it an ideal vehicle for communicating critical information during times of emergency, and Airwide’s involvement in this initiative solidifies the company’s position as an innovation leader in the messaging industry,” says Greg Latour, senior vice president of technology development for Cellular South.