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A Cutting-Edge Solution

"The truth is a 3-meter policy does not provide public safety with precise floor location. That’s a problem. We should choose standards that without fail provide for floor-level accuracy. When police or firefighters show up in an emergency, the last thing they should have to do is take out a measuring tape. They need a standard that tells them precisely where you are. We fall short of that with the standard we adopt today. And the result—according to those who take our 911 calls—is going to be a problem." JESSICA ROSENWORCEL - FCC Chairwoman

IndoorSOS® is a cutting-edge solution for dispatchable locations with certainty, including during power outages.

The Z-Axis solution by handset barometric sensing can only tackle the +/- 3-meter mandate. FCC has required an independently administered testbed for official stage Z testing by available technological approaches of barometric pressure-based altitude estimation. The report (pages 121-122) highlights many issues, such as,

  • “There is a big question mark on real-world performance and use of the barometric pressure-based altitude estimation when the device calibration varies between the different models of mobile devices, and the accuracy degrades with the age of the sensor.
  • The performance differs vastly in rural morphologies, freezing weather, high winds level dispatchable location mandate, etc.
  • How could altitude be accurately converted into building floor level for pressure-based estimation systems?”

At the same time, WiFi dispatchable locations depend on the availability of WiFi access points, which are vulnerable to power cuts. “The IAFF (The International Association of Fire Fighters) has closely monitored the development of location technologies and recognises that floor identity capabilities do not currently exist.” 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.” 

The defunct NEAD (National Emergency Address Database) proves the stringent floor-level and room number information mandate/standard is outside the carriers’ dedicated resources and capacity. As T-Mobile had suggested, cellular network-based dispatchable location will likely be impossible. “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”.

There is virtually a technological impasse facing the wireless communication industry in providing precise and reliable incident floor-level information and room number dispatchable locations (DL2). It frustrates ECC dispatchers, Fire, Police, and ambulance as no real-time, actionable indoor location data is readily available on request. 

The remarks by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel are a ringing echo of such frustration.

All these point to one big question:

How can accurate and reliable floor-level actionable emergency locations always be possible? 

A solution lies inside the buildings. 

Getting to the bottom of this question will need to ignite thinking outside the box. If satellites deployed in the sky can help locate emergency callers horizontally on Earth, mimicking such a satellite system inside the buildings is a no-brainer. Any smart permanent in-building facilities can play this role as they can interact with the callers’ handsets that commit the 911 call. 

It is technologically feasible to use the intelligent sensors/controllers of the building facilities for that purpose. 

It is literally a public safety issue inside buildings. 

The dispatchable location at floor level and room number is fundamentally a building safety issue. The NFPA building codes explicitly require facilities, such as emergency lighting, fire alarms, smoke alarms &, etc., to provide all occupants with compulsory emergency safety and protection. Empowering these facilities to give rise to the indoor locations of emergency callers is also about protecting their safety and general welfare.

Therefore, the dispatchable location extends to the regime of the building regulations in the local jurisdiction, i.e. Councils and local government building safety bodies. The Fire Marshals shall be able to implement such building safety measures and policies.

A Digital Twin of emergency address always helps.

The IndoorSoS™ runs a cloud and a local edge mapping engine responsible for computing the caller’s indoor location. The groups of clustered IDs and internet communication access addresses are indexed, referenced & bound to the data source of the physical areas of room number and floor level, forming a digital twin of a critical database of the Emergency addresses. 

This digital twin collects and processes the real-time synchronised data from the sensors/controllers that interact with the caller’s equipment on the caller’s demand in an emergency call. A machine learning algorithm manoeuvres the datasets and continually gains knowledge of the facilities’ dynamics data for physical emergency call location enhancement. The emergency caller’s real-time location data are compiled into an Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD) compliant with the latest i3 Next Generation 9-1-1 standards. The emergency call centre dispatchers and the field responders can then share the EIDD over the Emergency Service Internet (Esinet) through the first responder communication network, such as the FirstNet™.

The intelligent sensors that survive power outages become the ‘satellite’ to position the distressed callers. The geographical information of the callers’ floor level, room number, and civic address is represented on an Open Geospatial Consortium standards indoor emergency map.

Ever-ready Emergency Indoor Locations Save Lives


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