Next Gen 999: information is power
The manufacturer of innovative Next Generation 999 solution Carbyne is currently researching the UK market. Here, company CEO Amir Elichai discusses the need to evolve the technology in this field.
For those who don’t know, the Next Gen 999 concept refers to the ongoing evolution of emergency call centres in order to accommodate broadband functionality. It is anticipated that through this, the public themselves will eventually - in the course of a ‘normal’ 999 call - be able to provide operational information to those on the frontline via ‘business as usual’ elements of their smart device.
Technologies currently being mentioned as part of this discussion include AML, which accurately pinpoints where a mobile call is being made from, as well as the likes of Capita’s 999 Eye solution, which enables onlookers to send video footage straight from the scene.
Products such as Carbyne - whose CEO Amir Elichai was one of the key speakers in London - meanwhile, represent a concerted attempt to combine different types of Next Gen 999 functionality within a single solution.
Sources of information
Speaking of the origin of the company Elichai says: “I started Carbyne four and a half years ago, after I was robbed on the beach in Tel Aviv. It was a really unpleasant experience, but ultimately a valuable one.
“As I was calling the police, it occurred to me that the amount of information I could give them was very limited. That being the case, I wanted to see if there was something I could do in order to increase both the amount of data sent to emergency services call handlers, as well as the speed at which it arrives.”
There are currently two products mentioned on the company’s website. The first of these is ‘c-Lite’ which is described as a “high-availability plugin” enabling “device location, live video streaming, and the ability to deliver information from IoT devices” to those using ‘legacy’ call-handling software, within emergency services control rooms.
C-Live meanwhile offers similar incident management functionality, but instead operating as a “cloud-native call handling system built on the Cisco technology stack. The platform secures, organises, and enhances the data, presenting the most critical information to a call-taker, [making it] easily shareable to others in the response chain.”
Elaborating on the intention of these solutions, Elichai says: “The idea is that we bring as much information from the caller’s side as possible. That includes location and video, but also chat, intelligence gained from IoT devices across the city, drones and so on.
“Taking video functionality as an example, once the person gets in contact with the emergency services, we’ll send them a link via the platform of their choice – Facebook, SMS and so on – asking if they want to give us access to their camera. If they say yes, we can then stream live video chat, with everything deleted at the end of the call.”
He continues: “We also have the ability to reduce the quality of the real-time video, depending on what bandwidth is available. If the coverage isn’t good enough, we can still deliver chat.
“Ultimately, the dispatcher is in control of the situation and has the option to control both what they want to see and how they’re able to see it. Clearly, the avoidance of mental trauma on the part of call handlers is a core piece of this puzzle, and as such we’ve brought in two public safety experts from the US, as well as an expert in PTSD.”
According to Elichai, the company is currently in the process of exploring the UK as a potential market, and as such has already got brought former commissioner of the Met Bernard Hogan-Howe on board in an advisory role. The solution is already rolled out in a variety of locations across the US meanwhile, with the company also partnering with Google in Mexico to provide Android emergency location functionality.
Next Generation 999 is an increasingly fascinating topic for those interested in public safety communications. Carbyne is hoping to be a valued contributor to that conversation.
To hear more on the UK's 999 functionality, register your interest for and visit BAPCO 2020.
Learn more about the Next Generation 999 event here.
Editor, Critical Communications Portfolio
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