Toronto-based Guardly launched an update to its mobile personal safety solution yesterday with an Indoor Positioning System that can locate a users’ precise location within a building.
The update means that when someone uses Guardly to call for help from inside a building, the building, floor number and specific room number of that caller are transmitted in less than five seconds, according to CEO Josh Sookman’s press release. The point being to help a dispatcher locate the Guardly user and get them help as quickly as possible. The location system goes above and beyond standards put in place by emergency 911 services that wireless network operators must provide accurate GPS location within 300 meters within six minutes of a request.
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Once the indoor location is established, Guardly then tracks it in real-time in case the caller is moving after the initial help request. Guardly’s offering targets school and corporate campuses to serve as a personal safety solution in place, or in complement to the fixed-location two-way radios that are often posted on yellow poles and in hallways. The cloud-based service provides the dispatcher interface to communicate with a Guardly mobile app user that’s calling for help, allowing for text or voice communication and location display.
So how does it work? Sookman explains in an e-mail:
“Guardly IPS uses radio frequency (RF) fingerprinting (from fixed WiFi and Bluetooth sensors) to determine the position of someone within a building. A building is first setup by mapping the floors and rooms with our mobile application that captures radio frequency data available each indoor location. Once a building is setup in our system, the technology can be leveraged by anyone with our mobile safety apps to determine their position within the building, and track their position as they may move about the building over time. Indoor locations are uniquely identified based on certain differences in radio frequencies measured room-to-room,” he writes.
The new positioning system works with Android devices and enterprise solutions including its Safe Campus and Building Safety services, according to Guardly. It can even provide information in cellular dead zones, using a building’s WiFi installation.