Location-Based Services for First Responders

Roaming Messenger Takes Aim at $3.6 Billion Location-Based Services Market

Roaming Messenger, the provider of a breakthrough mobile messaging platform, is now utilizing its geographical location capability in conjunction with its interactive smart messaging technology to enable a host of applications in the homeland security, emergency response and enterprise sectors. This rapidly expanding, multi-billion dollar market is known as location-based services, or LBS.

According to a report published earlier this year by Wireless News discussing the role of location-based services in the wireless world, no attribute is more distinguishing and valuable to mobile network operators and their customers, suppliers, and investors than customer location information.

Recent E-911 regulations required network operators to invest heavily in location technology and now the infrastructure is in place to enable various LBS applications. Wireless Week in a May 15, 2005 article notes that ABI Research has forecast that the market for location services could reach $3.6 billion by 2010.

This trend is emphasized by the efforts of industry giants such as Microsoft, Blackberry, ESRI and other industry leaders to develop their own Location Based Services initiatives and product roll-outs.

Utilizing GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) information from a location server, such as that from Microsoft or the Roaming Messenger Platform, Roaming Messenger enabled applications can send interactive messages to first responders and other field personnel who are nearest to an incident. For example, if there is an explosion at a shipping port, responders nearest to the harbor would be notified immediately for response. Other units in the field could then be shifted around to take over patrol of the areas vacated by those responders who were re-directed to cover the incident at the harbor.

By dynamically and continuously sending location information back to the command center, all units and responders in the field can be kept up to date in a rapidly changing situation, and re-routed with higher degrees of safety and efficiency.

One of the most important features of location-based services is the ability to enable a host of other applications, delivering value greater than the sum of their parts.

Jon Lei, Roaming Messenger's CEO, explains, "Location is a very important dimension of mobility. Getting information to the right person at the right time is not enough if people are moving around. By incorporating location-based services in the Roaming Messenger Platform, we can get the right information to the right person, at the right time, in the RIGHT PLACE. This is a significant technical breakthrough. With our interactive smart messaging technology, we are taking location-based messaging to a whole new level."

In the example cited, using Roaming Messenger's interactive messaging technology, those responders directed to the incident, could also be sent maps of the port or details about the type of cargo in the vessels nearby so that proper fire extinguishing techniques could be utilized. Roaming Messenger could also be used to carry video and other rich media out to the handsets of officers in the field, providing them with detailed information useful for their specific locations.

Simultaneously, those other responders in the field who had been directed to patrol areas vacated by the officers diverted to the port, would be sent new and different maps of the areas into which they were assigned to patrol.

Mr. Lei concludes, "Based on recently announced installations of our technology — and the rate at which that relationship is expanding — we are confident of gaining our share of the location-based services market."

Roaming Messenger is the provider of a breakthrough mobile messaging technology that delivers a completely new and better way for government agencies and corporations to extend information and business processes to the mobile world. The Company, based in Santa Barbara, California, has developed a proprietary technology that encapsulates workflow logic and data into smart software "messengers." Unlike regular e-mail and text messages, these messengers are encrypted, and have the ability to automatically move across wired and wireless devices, track down recipients, confirm receipt, deliver interactive content, and transmit real-time responses back to the sending application.
Obviously a tool like Nomad with access to location-based services could be extraordinarily beneficial in disaster response situations. Every second counts and can be the difference between life and death. Giving first-responder personnel access to an integrated real-time information suite of location and mission information could make response to disasters like we have all been seeing so much more effective and save so many lives. It's great to save time on vehicle repairs. But where the tool is needed most is where lives are on the line and everyone needs to be on the same page.