TRX Systems spent last week at APCO 2015 providing a live demonstration of the NEON Indoor Location solution and participating in industry discussions on resilient and next generation emergency communications and 911 technologies.
As with any new technology, an ecosystem is developing to support broad deployment of indoor location for both first responders and the public at large. APCO showcased these advances in both technical sessions and on the exhibit floor.
Motorola Solutions, Sonim, and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, along with representatives from FirstNet, discussed how the next generation mobile data computer is a Smartphone. Ruggedized smartphones meeting the specifications required for public safety deployment deliver the data capacity required for applications that need indoor location updates in real-time. The Bluetooth pairing supported by these smartphones simplify connection to precision indoor location accessories, physiological sensors, radiation sensors, and more.
The show floor had a significant number of companies involved in the Distributed Antenna System (DAS) market, including those specializing in development of in-building infrastructure, engineering and design of in-building networks, and deployment of DAS within buildings. DAS infrastructure makes those buildings safer by delivering more complete coverage and enables delivery of indoor location information from all areas of large and complex buildings. DAS vendors and deployment engineers also need indoor location capabilities to simplify system installation and verification.
In addition to the TRX demonstration of 3D indoor location and mapping, Geo-Comm also highlighted the third dimension during a presentation of their pilot of 3G indoor mapping technologies. This session covered the challenges of obtaining and maintaining accurate map data and prompted useful discussions regarding how much map data is actually required. Critical large buildings such as the DC convention center (where APCO was held) clearly benefit from the context supplied by floor plans. In other buildings, knowledge of basic 3D map information such as number of floors, entrances/exits, and stairwell locations, is all that is required for context. This information tends to be more stable than precise floor plan data.
Communications, mapping, and location are three very connected technologies. The advances being made in each of these areas will advance the safety and efficiency of public safety personnel and improve safety for all.