Security | News
Guardly Adds Indoor Positioning System to Mobile Emergency Response Line
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A Toronto company that develops mobile security products to help with public safety has introduced a new indoor positioning system that transmits the precise location within a building that an emergency call is coming from. Guardly launched Indoor Positioning System (IPS), which works with its other mobile safety applications by transmitting the building, floor, and specific room of a mobile emergency caller. The company said that an initial transmission takes place in less than five seconds and after that the app tracks indoor location changes in real-time. Although the initial offering will work on Google Android devices, the company said it would release versions for other mobile platforms.
According to Josh Sookman, founder and CEO, Guardly IPS uses radio frequency fingerprinting from fixed Wi-Fi and Bluetooth sensors to determine the position of the caller in a building. "A building is first set up by mapping the floors and rooms with our mobile application that captures radio frequency data available for each indoor location," he explained. "Once a building is set up in our system, the technology can be leveraged by anyone with our mobile safety apps to determine their position within the building and track their position as they may move about the building over time. Indoor locations are uniquely identified based on certain differences in radio frequencies measured room to room."
Guardly IPS integrates with the company's other products, including Safe Campus, which gives mobile device users a fast way to connect with campus police in an emergency, and Guardly Command, which provides dispatchers and public safety officers with situational awareness data to help them make decisions during emergencies. Adding the IPS tool is "like having a personalized blue light emergency phone on your mobile device, but one that's accurate to a specific room on a specific floor inside a building," Sookman said.
"When a police dispatcher is working an emergency call, one of the first pieces of information required is an accurate location. Having the indoor location of mobile callers immediately available to dispatchers serves to reduce response times, especially for any campus that has multi-story buildings," said Rocco DelMonaco, former vice president of university safety at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.