Tech based Universal Emergency Systems, Solutions and Services.
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Introduction. Sexual assault on Women and Children and all sorts of vandalism on weak had been happening for ages all over the world. The recent mindless and horrific rape and assault incident in Delhi and many other places made India to wake up and strongly protest against such heinous crimes. Various forms of upheaval across the country had made government to bend down and look for better and effective ways and means to tackle this horrendous problem.
1. One suggestion most heard is about drastically enhancing punishments. Making punishments more rigorous & delivery of justice, certain and quicker, would definitely help to deter good percentage incidence of such crimes. However, it is doubtful whether that alone will solve the entire problem that has spread like cancer in all levels of society.
Attitude towards sex such as legitimizing homosexual behavior & same sex marriage are vastly accepted and becoming order of the day in many part of the world. Whether the change is for good or bad is a question to ponder by everyone. India is neither there nor here in fast changing world’s cultural behavior and matters related to Sex.
2. Prevention is always better than cure. In the matter concerning sexual assault on women, there are thousands of sexually starved and mentally derailed persons out there across all regions in the country. Identifying and rehabilitating them is the most important need of the day.
Along with changing laws on sex crimes and rehabilitating the probable and likely perpetrators, it is equally important to seriously look into other options; especially every possible means towards effective preventive measures open to us. And that is exactly the object of this paper: ‘Information Technology based Emergency Systems and Services’. The proposal is to embrace contemporary and readily implementable modern technology based products and services; to assist the Citizens and Law Enforcement authorities, to quickly and efficiently act on such occasions leading to sexual harassment and physical violence so as to take preemptive actions to prevent most of the incidents before those happen.
More importantly, awareness about mere presence of such systems in itself will greatly help to deter miscreants; and with it the object is half realized.
3. Emergency services available in contemporary Telecom systems.
i) Land line systems: It is mandatory to provide emergency call feature in all Public Telecom services. In Land line systems, dialing codes 100, 101, 102, 911 ETC., are available for accessing Police, Fire Station and Ambulance services. In networks abroad there is facility to send an alert call with calling line identity (CLI) and caller’s location to a Centralized control room by dialing digit ‘0’ and leaving the handset off hook.
ii) Mobile phone systems: In Mobile phone systems, there is a feature that enables any one in distress to initiate emergency access by dialing code 112. This facility is available in all mobile phones even without the SIM card in it. Most phones can be programmed to send out emergency access code when a predefined ‘distress’ key is kept pressed for few seconds. Using Location Based services (LBS) in Mobile phone technology, such emergency calls can be identified by any Mobile system and rerouted to nearest Control room autonomously based on the current location of the caller. Such emergency calls will be picked up by any mobile network available in the premises. Using a special purpose phone or Customer Service station in the control room, callers phone number and location will be readily displayed to initiate take immediate action.
Tying up with Mobile Telephone Operators Micro and Nano Cells can be provided in every other Electric Pole connected with OF cables.
iii) Access through GPS network: Every vehicle can be given a unique ID like Aadhaar number. Every vehicle shall be equipped with both GSM / GPS access equipment. ISRO can provide Satellites and transponders for keeping these connected to Control centres. As suggested in my blog: Exclusive Govt. owned GSM/GPS Systems & Networks for Crisis and Disaster management. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-dh It is be possible to access the control room using special purpose emergency access number even without SIM cards and also get linked to GPS access where there is no GSM connectivity. Such systems are already working in some countries.
iv) Need to have a Universal access code: Instead of different access codes for disparate services, Government and authorities concerned shall consider to have a common universal dialing code for all sorts of emergency access like 911 as being used in US.
v) Exclusive emergency devices and systems. Using the same concept emergency service can be provided using exclusive emergency devices (Mobile or Fixed), network and systems. Devices can be in the form of wearable like a Wrist band, Watch or Pendant or Waist band hidden under the dress. Satellite connectivity can be used to link the systems with central Control Centre.
4. Street level Emergency Siren units. Such features of emergency access can be further exploited by installing and making available suitable Mobile SIM enabled pole mounted ‘Siren units’ in every street. Using LBS feature the emergency call originated from any mobile phone can be routed to the nearest ‘Siren unit’ to activate a loud beeping hooter in it. In parallel, information is automatically sent to the nearest Control Room for alerting the Mobile Police Petrol in the vicinity. The Siren units shall be fail proof and tamper proof working on local power connections with stand bye battery kept charged with Solar panels. These pole mounted Siren units will have a Mobile number (MSISDN) and will remain logged into the Mobile network. Failure or tampering of the unit in any way will be automatically sensed by Mobile system and reported to Control Room. Once activated, the unit can be deactivated only from the control room by accessing it and entering secret code/pass word. Readiness of these units is to be checked periodically as a routine either at its physical location by mock call or accessing it from control room. Such facility can be readily implemented in every place; in Urban and rural area where there is Mobile phone facility and also is possible in Land line networks. In rural areas the siren units can be placed in Police stations, Post offices, Panchayat offices etc.
CCTV’s with GSM connectivity. The above mentioned idea can be used for street level CCTV units to make it fail proof and tamper proof, with connectivity to GSM system.
5. Provision of Emergency Siren units in vehicles.
5.1. It will be useful to provide an Aadhaar ID and a Siren unit for emergency use by commuters in any form of distress in every vehicle.
5.2. To begin with it shall be made mandatory to have such Siren units (similar to the burglar alarm in Cars) in all Public transport systems, Buses, Taxis and Railway compartments. The unit shall be tamper-proof and will have unique ID linked with GSM as an access number, ideally its Mobile number MSISDN translated into a short code. This access code shall be prominently displayed in every public vehicle in such a way that any traveler in distress can see and access it by dialing the number using their mobile phone. Such emergency calls made to every vehicle units will be identified by the Mobile switching system and autonomously forwarded in parallel to the nearest Control Room and Street Siren unit.
5.3. In addition every vehicle shall have ‘Emergency marked’ push switches at the back of the seats and also ‘chain pull’ alarm mechanism with it handle at convenient access points in the vehicle by which the siren unit in the Bus/Cabs can be activated to arm the Bus/Cab units to raise a sounder like a car burglar alarm for alarm and send an emergency call to nearby Street Unit and Control room.
5.4. There shall be a camera the vehicle than will be triggered when emergency system is activated which will record photo of the driver and interior of the vehicle.
5.5. The unit shall be permanently powered directly by the battery of the vehicle and shall remain logged into the network. It shall have internal standby battery in the absence of power from vehicle battery. Tampering or deactivation of the unit will be detected in Mobile and can be programmed to make an auto call to the control room to inform the authorities about it. Functional readiness of the units shall be periodically inspected by the authorities. The system should be such that once activated the Siren unit can be switched off only by accessing it from the control room.
6. Special purpose gadgets: It is possible to provide such facility even with cheap special purpose small gadgets, something like the Pager that we have been using before the arrival of Mobile phones. It can work the same way like a Mobile phone without SIM to initiate an emergency call. Gadgets can be made in the shape of bangles or wrist watches with a distress button. In addition such units can be used as multipurpose life science device: a watch, phone, music /video device and emergency access when in distress. Please see the picture of something that has come in the technology space. (For illustration only to convey the idea. Cheap devices could be mass produced and supplied free or at low cost)
INTERNET ENABLED WEARABLES FOR EMERGENCY MESSAGING.
Keeping an emergency button pressed in this device for few seconds can be made to send message to nearest control room and to autonomously activate the nearest street siren where Mobile Police are available on 24/7 basis. Alternately the device can made to iniate the by thumb impression by keeping the victims thumb pressed on the surface of the digital device.
Wearing such a gadget by itself will act as deterrent as no one will dare touch a girl or woman wearing such a gadget; and the intended object is achieved. Such gadget can be part of ”Waist band” hidden under the dress so that there is no chance of it being snatched away by vandals.
6.1.Additionally these can be programmed as Voice response gadgets to make it switch on identifying a prerecorded and set users voice. Same feature can further developed so as the Server receiving it can identify the user from voice and also other voices near by the location.
7. Technology readily available: Technology for such features and products are readily available and can be implemented with minimum amount of additional applications. Such steps up will deter vandals from attacking women and weak in unsecured ATM’s and other isolated places like toilets/restrooms in public places, malls etc. As far as ATMs acre concerned the the simplest solution can be to install these embedded in building walls in busy side walks in open public view. An emergency button can be provided in the ATM panel, pressing of it for few seconds will initiate a loud howler in the vicinity and also send a distress signal to the control room and street sirens where 24/7 Mobile Police available. It is possible to add more features into such systems with the advent of NFC technology etc. Also it is possible to auto lock the doors of the vehicle or disable the vehicle engine after few minuets of the unit’s activation. Hope the Government, Hon. Justice Varma Commission others involved in decision making will definitely consider such technology based options also as ‘Prevention is always better than cure.
The greatest benefit is that awareness about availability of such system in every street and every public transport vehicle (even if it is not working) will act as deterrent to vandals and hooligans. Therefore, wide publicity shall be given to create awareness in both, the likely victims and likely perpetrators.
Conclusion: Technologies for the above based solutions are available and implementable. However, the delay in taking of is the reluctance on the side of Law Enforcement agencies that will be held responsible for delays and blames for lapses, as the incidents and demands will be too high and need 24/7/365 response and real time action from the Authorities concerned that will be difficult if not impossible to realize in full.
Also please see my blog: Exclusive Govt. owned GSM Systems & Networks for Crisis and Disaster management. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-dh
Abraham Paul. P. Owner FCOMNET. Ex V.P Technical Sales, SPCNL / Director TRG, TS & SC SIEMENS ICN / G.M & SMT Telecom Business Group, BPL Mobile India / TES (I) DOT India.
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