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Background

For far too long, emergency service agencies have struggled to locate distressed wireless callers indoors, specifically at floor level inside the multi-story buildings. It is a growing issue for emergency services as the emergency calls are now predominantly based on IP (Internet-Protocol) addresses. FCC has adopted comprehensive rules and deadlines to improve location accuracy for wireless 911 calls, such as the rule of Vertical Indoor Location Accuracy for Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) provider.

From April 3, 2021, with a six-year benchmark.

  • …….CMRS providers also must deliver z-axis information to meet accuracy metric of within 3 meters above or below (plus or minus 3 meters) the handset in Height Above Ellipsoid and,  floor level information where available  (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(C)

From January 6, 2022,

  • All CMRS providers shall provide the dispatchable location with wireless E911 calls if it is technically feasible for them to do so (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(G)))

Implementing the best available technology to achieve floor-level accuracy at any time poses a significant challenge. While FCC’s dispatchable location information is a forward-looking mandate applicable only when technically feasible, the current Z-axis +/- 3 meters standard does not warrant the precise floor level information of the wireless 911 calls. The accurate floor level information, unfortunately, remains at large. 

Moreover, the Dispatchable-location required by the FCC’s forward-looking mandate for wireless 911 calls as above may become unavailable in power outages that disrupt the Wi-Fi internet connection.

Dealing with internet interruption inside buildings to warrant the dispatchable location be available to the ECC/PSAP, or the field responders on-site is undoubtedly a ‘good-to-have.’ 

A Technological Paradigm

We live in an increasingly wireless world, especially inside buildings, with the influx of Building Internet of Things (IoT) devices and systems involving smart facilities and utilities that use wireless sensors and information communication technology (ICT). The in-building wireless RF technological paradigm creates an omnipresent opportunity for applying indoor positioning technologies to help locate wireless emergency callers indoors.
Wireless sensors/microcontrollers of smart building facilities/utilities, such as the  smart lighting, thermostat, access control, video alarm, smoke alarm &, etc., are permanently deployed in the buildings. They transmit data packets under specific radiofrequency communication protocols, such as WiFi, UWB, RFID, Bluetooth &, etc., which  can also work with smartphones. These wireless sensors have unique electronic IDs and addresses to communicate with each other and connect to the internet under specific networking topologies.  On calling 911, the smartphones will be interacting with the with these sensor nodes. Computing the groups of clustered and indexed unique names and communication addresses of these sensor nodes on the same floor level can identify the indoor position of the smartphone that receives and commits communication with these nodes during the 911 emergency call. The communication triggered by the emergency call can reveal the caller’s location relevant to these nodes’ physical location address.


Proudly, IndoorSoS™ has developed a cloud computing and mapping engine with a machine-learning algorithm to empower these sensor nodes to act as ‘satellites’ to locate emergency calls inside the buildings.

A cutting-edge solution of  indoor location with certainty.

The Z-Axis solutions, such as handset barometric sensing, network-based metropolitan beacon positioning, can only  tackle the +/- 3 meters mandate at their best performance, and RF tag-WiFi based phone-finding dispatchable location, will struggle in dealing with the reliability of WiFi access. It is arguably true that network-based dispatchable location will not be possible, as T-mobile had suggested. “T-Mobile said calls for the dispatchable location for all wireless calls are neither realistic nor technically feasible. “Put simply, there exists no system today or in the foreseeable future that could deliver on such a mandate,”….. “Further, considerations beyond feasibility suggest that dispatchable location information would not be appropriate for all calls.”

“The IAFF (The International Association of Fire Fighters) has closely monitored the development of location technologies and recognizes that floor identity capabilities do not currently exist.” 

Furthermore, power-cut may disrupt internet and cellular tower communications, which are pivotal for emergency communication. 

IAFF said it is “unaware of any dispatchable location approach that will continue to function during power outages, when darkness, public confusion, and reduced communications options heighten the importance of accurate location information to enable emergency responders to assist the public.” 

IndoorSoS ™ tech of wireless access power-backup edge computing pioneers to provide a solution for ‘floor level information with certainty in power outages’ to support the field first responders in locating the callers onsite.

Blogs

How Many Misadventures May Be Ahead Before They Become Safe?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-21/tasmanian-bernard-gore-stairwell-death-coronial/13002014 https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/courts-law/inquest-begins-into-mans-lonely-death-inside-a-westfield-bondi-junction-stairwell/news-story/1f35db0a8a78cb324bf36a83bdf64e64 The coroner ruled that Mr. Gore’s lonely death resulted from misadventure, though a ‘Grey Code’ call that would trigger a full in-mall search

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IndoorSOS Joints ICERT

Great News, and we are proud of being accepted as a member of iCERT. https://www.theindustrycouncil.org/post/indoorsos-joins-icert

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Emergency Indoor Locations Save Lives™

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