Our most extensive innovation projects relate to research and development to allow alert systems to best utilise the telecom infrastructure. The ability to send alerts and its reliability is closely linked to the limitations of the infrastructure. The following are some of our research and development projects that have had a significant impact on the evolution of the population alert industry.
The greatest danger from using high capacity calling systems is overloading the public infrastructure. UMS was the first company to make a patented system and method to overcome this critical challenge.
Traveller Alert System (2009)
In a crisis, being able to reach and alert a civilian travelling abroad is extremely important. Using UMS Traveller Alert System [TAS], national authorities can give their citizens reliable information proactively. UMS in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry of Norway has developed a patented system to enable the overview and alerting of civilians travelling abroad.
There are several challenges in using mobile networks for alert purposes. Being able to locate and disseminate alerts without congestion at an acceptable speed whilst maintaining privacy was a significant achievement. UMS was also the first to patent this system.
UMS has been working on Indoor Location Positioning to address several use cases based on Bluetooth technology. Within the confines of any indoor facility, one potential use case is to prevent the risk of heavy vehicles colliding with workers in a large factory by sending an emergency alert when two entities (living or non-living) are on a collision course. Other use cases involve crowd management, situational awareness for facilities, the management of personnel etc.
Another area where UMS is expanding its breadth of services, is the integration of sensors to alert systems. Sensors can provide the input that may trigger an alert which can be automated or semi-automatic. In addition, it is possible for the integration to be CAP based. We have established a fully functional proof of concept in our R&D lab where an environment has been set up with mechanical water level sensors to measure rising water levels; once the water reaches a certain pre-set level the system creates an alert. This alert is then transferred to our alert engine where it can be sent either automatically or semi-automatically. On a larger scale, this can easily support regions with high risks of flooding with effective alerting.
Situational awareness is vital for all kinds of emergencies and unexpected situations. Location-based response from individuals or crowds is an essential feature of UMS Alert; it contributes to improved situational awareness by providing brief descriptions of the situation on geographic areas. To evolve real-time situational awareness with a new perspective, drone surveillance is to be integrated with the UMS Alert system portfolio as a further extension. Drones will receive coordinates from responses and transmit waypoints for automated flight to target destinations where live information such as images or videos will be transmitted to the host application.
Location Based alerting requires the abilities of real time localisation for all subscribers in a mobile network. For massive emergencies, scalability is important to be able to maintain services independent of the number of users within a mobile network. Some networks have billions of transactions within minutes and being able to organise this amount of data to utilise them for precise alert targeting is a great challenge and a vital part of R&D and innovation.