If you're managing security at a large outdoor event, then it's important that you know where all of your staff are – at all times. A new system developed at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology is designed to let users do just that, and it doesn't require a mobile phone network.
The system is centered around small wearable tracking devices, that monitor their wearer's location via GPS. That data is continuously transmitted to a computer at a central control center, utilizing the LoRa (Long Range) wireless data transmission protocol. Commonly used in Internet-of-Things connected products, LoRa consumes little power and has a range of several kilometers.
At the control center, administrators are able to view everyone's real-time location on a digital situation map. Additionally, should anyone urgently require assistance while they're out in the field, they can simply press a big red panic button on their device. Doing so will highlight their location on the map, and bring up a notification that they need help.
The system was recently tested at Germany's "Rhine in Flames" fireworks event, where a total of 45 police officers, firefighters, emergency care assistants, and stewards were equipped with and tracked by the devices. Only two antennae were required in order to cover the whole area, which spanned a considerable stretch of the Rhine River.
The technology is now being developed further, as part of the European Union MONICA (Management Of Networked IoT Wearables - Very Large Scale Demonstration of Cultural Societal Applications) project.
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