We thought we’d round up some of the top highlights this week in the Communication world and give them to you in one place. Check out some buzz worthy stories happening in the wireless communication and public safety world!
1) P25 (Project 25) Communication equipment- These are the set of standards used for federal, state, and local police departments set forth by APCO. It ensures interoperability between these levels in terms of radio communication to enhance timeliness, effectiveness, and coordination during emergencies. Why is this important? FEMA opened applications for Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) on the 18th, which is only available for “the acquisition of P25 compliant equipment”. Read more of the details about the guidelines here.
2) RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification)- In a press release this week, companies such as Motorola Solutions and LG will use a new logo to identify UHF RFID radio products that are certified through the RFID Consortium. Jim O'Hagan, a spokesperson for the RFID Consortium said that by "Displaying this logo on products or supporting documentation will make it easy for end users, distributors, systems integrators, and vendors to know that products they purchase are licensed through the RFID Consortium."
3) RoboCop Car- Motorola Solutions unveiled a prototype for a new hybrid of police vehicles. This ‘RoboCop’ car can automatically scan license plates when searching for a suspect, starts live video when an officer exits the car, sending location information back to the command center, and alerting other officers for back up when an officer pulls a gun. This prototype was released in Australia at the Tech Leaders Forum conference on the Gold Coast. Check out more information on the newest features in public safety vehicles with the Herald Sun.
4) Location Tracking- This week, the FCC is looking into ways to require wireless carriers to improve how accurately a caller is within the given area of the call. As of now, dispatchers can get a general area of where the caller is located. But with increased precision, they’ll be able to tell which floor, room, or building a caller is in within the first 30 seconds of a phone call. Standards already in place for outdoor wireless and landline calls are expected to be reciprocated to these indoor calls. Learn what else the FCC is doing in terms of location accuracy here.
5) E911 Texting- The FCC is laying the hammer down so to speak with wireless carriers to support emergency texts to 911 by the end of 2014. Many PSAP’s (public safety answering points) are upgrading to adhere to the next generation 911 systems. The problem with the text to 911 is that some PSAP’s are not upgrading just yet. Without an “all or nothing” upgrade, those who have not upgraded their PSAP’s will not receive these emergency text messages – and those sending the messages will believe help is on the way. Read more from GovTech on the E911 texting initiative.