Last week I attended APCO 2019 in Baltimore, where I led a panel of public safety and technology experts discussing ‘The Impact of 3D Location Technology on Public Safety and First Responders.’ Innovating high accuracy location solutions for the more challenging indoor and vertical environments is central to our mission here at Polaris Wireless and one that is gaining increasing attention, especially as the FCC considers a vertical (z-axis) location accuracy metric for E911. The APCO conference is a fitting venue for this discussion as it annually attracts public safety communications officials from around the country who are interested in new methods and tools to perform their jobs more efficiently and with improved results.
My co-panelists and I presented to an engaged audience who were knowledgeable about the topic and who were interested in clarifying differences in solutions and knowing where the industry is headed. My colleague Scot Gordon provided a diagram of 3D location solutions explaining the differences of how these solutions are delivered for E911 and First Responders use cases. Further, he addressed device-based hybrid solutions that circumvent wireless operators for E911 and discussed potential limitations of device-based solutions that could be negatively impacted when users disable high-accuracy location or change other settings. Eddie Reyes, who again joined us as the ‘voice of the customer’ provided a compelling real-world use case illustrating the value of high accuracy location and addressed questions about how PSAPs are adopting new technologies, a topic which he has plenty to talk about. Finally, Mark Pownell from Mark43, a partner of Polaris Wireless, joined our panel to discuss 3D location from the perspective of Computer Aided Dispatch software, which is where call centers and command applications ultimately receive actionable location technology.
Beyond our panel, I was able to meet with many current and potential partners and customers to hear about what they are looking for regarding high-accuracy location. I found that most everyone I spoke with is excited about the opportunities for 3D location to help public safety, with many of the attendees engaged in the FCC Z-axis proceedings. Those who are in the field stressed the need for floor-level identification of emergency callers, something that is being investigated by many public safety stakeholders, including Polaris Wireless. It was validating to interact with the people we serve and find out how technologies like ours are helping them do their jobs better, assist those in need, and save lives.
I would like to thank APCO for the opportunity to participate in the conference and lead this panel. If you are interested in more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.