Video communication in emergencies

Working with our partner RF Technology, we’re using our expertise in WiFi to develop a wireless technology that will allow emergency first responders to use real-time video to communicate on their existing narrowband networks.

The Challenge

Emergency situation feedback is limited

At the scene of an emergency – like a fire, an accident, or a flood – public safety agencies primarily rely on voice-only communication with management control centres and experts away from the scene.

Our Ngara technology will allow emergency first responders to use real-time video to communicate on their existing narrowband networks.

What if this narrowband communication could include a real-time video connection that would enable first responders to show those not present the situation as it unfolded?

This is currently possible using public mobile networks, but these quickly become overwhelmed during an emergency. Additional dedicated networks capable of video would require agencies to make large investments in infrastructure and spectrum.

Our Response

Assessing the scene using Ngara

Our Ngara technology, originally developed to provide wireless broadband access to remote and regional areas, is the cornerstone of a new system that will enable public safety agencies to send and receive live video to and from mobile first responders in the field.

The system utilises existing wide area narrowband public safety spectrum, and incremental upgrades to current public safety radio systems.

The Results

Providing assistance to first responders

Live video communication with public safety agents in the field will enable better decisions to be made faster to deal with crises.

For example, medical experts in the control room sharing a field paramedic’s view of a patient will help the paramedic offer more effective first aid; and counter-terror experts seeing a patrolling police officer’s view of an incident will help the officer identify and respond to terrorist threats.

We expect to begin trialing the technology with customers in Australia and the US in 2016.

This technology was a finalist in The Australian Innovation Challenge 2015.


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