Wireless Systems Design

Handhelds Will Alert Police To Gunshots

Despite its economic woes, terrorist worries, and international conflicts, the United States cannot ignore its previously existing problems. An example is the high crime rate. Many of these numerous crimes involve guns. Yet by the time police arrive at the scene of the crime, it may be too late to save the victim or catch a glimpse of the assailant. To help police find out about these cases right away, the On Alert Gunshot Detection System (GDS) is being designed.

Ideally, this system will provide authorities with the precise details of gunshots, including the type of gun used, the number of shots fired, and the exact location in which the shots were initiated. To accomplish this, On Alert uses a network of wireless acoustic sensors and a combination of GPS and patent-pending time-stamp technology. This technology integration will be used to accurately provide gunshot detection. Once the gunshot information is captured by GDS, it will be immediately transferred to dispatch offices or directly to the "cops on the beat" via handheld devices.

The system delivers this information to law enforcement within seconds of a gunshot. The information is sent in real time via the Internet and handheld devices (hardware independent). This greatly reduces response times. The system also frees police from having to rely solely on the reports of eyewitnesses. Plus, they know the types of firearms being discharged. Authorities can therefore dispatch a response team that is specific to the situation at hand.

Aside from its technical achievements, the GD-system solution stands out for being easy to install. It can be clipped onto power lines or mounted on light poles, tall buildings, or other strategic locations, thereby providing optimum coverage. In addition, On Alert GDS can be powered in a variety of different ways. It uses several communications protocols, which makes it effective in remote areas.

Proxity Digital Networks, Inc. (www.proxity.com) holds the exclusive global license to the patent-pending On Alert Gunshot Detection System. The company conducted first-stage development and testing in Oklahoma. Now, second-generation prototypes are in the beta-testing deployment stage. Once all field tests are concluded, a commercial production model of the system will be released. The On Alert GDS will then be available to Federal, State, and local governments. A military version is being designed as well.

Future versions of the system could take on even more kinds of crime. For example, models are planned that capture screams in parking garages or other locations. They could then link to wireless security cameras for increased surveillance and response. Eventually, versions also could exist that capture life-threatening incidents, such as tornadoes and seismic events.

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