Leveraging Smart Technologies for Security & Public Safety (Part 1)
We are in the early stages of what will be one of the biggest technology revolutions for Public Safety and Security.
Wikipedia defines the Internet of Things (IoT) as “extending Internet connectivity beyond standard devices, such as desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, to any range of traditionally dumb or non-internet-enabled physical devices and everyday objects. Embedded with technology, these devices can communicate and interact over the Internet, and they can be remotely monitored and controlled.”
The ability to access sensor data now gives any organization the opportunity to leverage vast amounts of data from the field to optimize operations, transform their customer experience and keep their employees and communities safe.
So how can this tech really help – especially frontline responders and workers? Let’s explore a Use Case. A field worker enters an area with high levels of toxic materials in the atmosphere and collapses. An atmospheric sensor either carried by the worker, a fixed sensor situated within proximity or even a drone equipped with a sensor, combined with a GPS sensor tracking the real-time location of that worker, could have saved their life through IoT providing an early warning and automated notification. In our Use Case, a biometric sensor worn by the worker, such as a smartwatch, would issue an alert based on the proximity of the device to the hazard zone. The same device would also automatically issue an emergency alert when the worker’s heart rate dropped (or spiked) to other workers nearby that could assist and/or to a central monitoring point.
To address these problems, CommandWear has been working on developing an “Internet of Life Saving Things” platform. This software platform not only integrates data from sensors, such as commercial smartwatches, it uses rules-based algorithms to give users only the critical information they need. It also integrates with existing enterprise systems, such as dispatch or crisis management systems, through a web services-based API.
Strapping a smartwatch on is not something responders are telling us ‘weighs them down’ and is a convenient communication device for mobile teams needing to stay heads-up, hands-free (e.g. bike squad). It is a connected device that has proven to be unobtrusive, smart, durable, and can be sanitized and shared easily across shifts … oh, and it also does a good job of telling you the time!
CommandWear has deployed these devices and its platform in dozens of operational environments including PanAm Games, marathons, major flood events and in support of emergency exercises. We are now collaborating with The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) First Responders Group (FRG) and its partners to operationalize IoT and smart city technologies for emergency response and management. Our technology project focuses on deployment of a “Smart Hub” for first responders: a body worn responder interoperability platform that integrates personal area network communications with third-party sensor packages (e.g. physiological monitoring and integrated voice/coms). DHS S&T defines the challenge this way:
“For incident commanders, accurate and readily available information is essential. The responder and field worker of the future will be deployed with sensors that relay individual location, biometrics, supply levels, video object recognition and audio directly back to incident command in real time.”
In Part 2 of this BLOG, we will share the lessons learned when deploying wearables and explain where this technology has delivered measurable benefits to public safety and security organizations around the globe.
If you are interested in learning more, partnering or just providing your ideas on what’s needed, please contact me at my email below or visit http://www.futureshield.com.
CEO, CommandWear Systems Inc.
“Developing an Internet of Life Saving Things Platform”