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Researcher's App Will Let Students Call in an Emergency Via Videophone


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Computer scientists at the University of Maryland at College Park, led by professor Ashok Agrawala, have worked with campus police on developing an emergency response system based on smartphone technology. The researchers have created Video 911, a smartphone app that enables 911 callers to stream video and audio from the scene to dispatchers.

Video 911 uses the global positioning system and other location technology in smartphones to pinpoint the source of a call, and then uses the school's surveillance cameras to gain a comprehensive look at what is happening on the ground. First responders en route to the scene also can receive the information on their laptops and watch live video feeds. Agrawala says that everything takes place at the touch of one button.

"We see this as a next logical step of getting information from those mobile apps into our call centers," says Jay Gruber, assistant chief of police at the University of Maryland. "I honestly think it's going to change the way that 911 information is received across the country."

From The Chronicle of Higher Education
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