Researchers devise new smartphone-powered emergency alert system

Following a research initiative, a team of researchers at the University of Alabama has developed and tested a new device to disseminate emergency messages. The Bluetooth-based system is suitable for use in urban areas. The initiative was undertaken to address inefficiencies in dissemination of messages for emergency and hazard situations. At present, broadcast media or physical signs is the method for such messages that are usually sent to the public.

In fact, from the U.S. data of 2016, only 387 wireless emergency alerts sent by state or local governments which is very small compared to 2 million broadcasted by National Weather Service.

“At the time of natural disasters, a number of communication infrastructure breaks due to phone or power network outages,” stated the lead researcher. The dissemination of emergency management information to people and to inform them of dangers, or to create evacuation routes is difficult. The newly created system, called InSight can work during such difficult times, when there is no power, GPS, or phone networks, to disseminate emergency alerts and save lives.

Meanwhile, InSight was designed to be easily deployable. A beacon for first responders with minimal cost that accurately detects users who are approaching a hazard sight. Structurally, the product comprises a mobile app, beacons, and a backend server to analyze and disseminate signals that can be received without an Internet connection.

In terms of use, the beacons are inexpensive and are easy to place during disasters. To activate the system, all it requires is a first responder to throw them out at specific locations from a moving vehicle to mark hazards or even evacuation routes.

Importantly, the beacon tested in three different emergency situations to establish their working.

Author: Rohit Bhisey

As Head of Marketing at TMR Research, Rohit brings to the table over a decade of experience in market research and Internet marketing. His dedication, perseverance, and passion for perfection have enabled him to achieve immense success in his field. Rohit is an expert at formulating new business plans and strategies to help boost web traffic. His interests lie in writing news articles on technology,healthcare and business.

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