Coping: Another Peoplenomics “I Told You So….” V-1-1

imageWell, here we go again:  Another damn good solution, offered first in our subscriber newsletter has popped from the “Good Idea” stage into Present Reality.

This, as the story ran on the wire this week that:

Israel Launches First Ever Video Distress Call Service.”

Israel launches 1st-ever video distress-call service

Ex-PM Ehud Barak launches mobile app designed to save lives

Now, I don’t mind that they are doing this – except the idea didn’t happen first in Israel.

I claim credit for this report in our January 8, 2014 report.

I don’t usually put entire Peoplenomics feature pieces out on the web, but here’s the copy and past from our January 8, 2014 report which subscribers can find here.

The Video version of 9-1-1
This morning’s report is extremely simple:  Click over to
There you will see the unveiling of my concept of how to really fight crime going forward.

The Core Concept
The main idea behind the V-1-1 vision is simple:  We have a huge installed base of smart phones and that base is growing by leaps and bounds.
What we should have is a way to summon emergency services with a simple one-button, point and click app, that would send live streaming video to 9-1-1 dispatch centers when needed.
The “raw materials” – the phones – need only software, and at the police/sheriff dispatch centers, all that’s needed is inbound video-call capture and routing resource.
Thus, the main obstacles are as follows:

At the Cell Phone:
There needs to be a published standard in order that all calls coming into the dispatch center will be received in a standard format.
This isn’t a problem with the existing 9-1-1 system because the baseline of what’s received (audio) is already an agreed upon pseudo-standard (300-3000 Hz analog voice circuit). There are a number of streaming media options, but I really favor use of an IP-friendly format such as Skype’s video capability.
The only other nits would be a simple dialing module, software to bring in other data (the major one being the lat/lon stream from GPS) and then control to tie everything together.
The standard would be the one which allows the greatest number of phones to be involved in the system. 

As background, there have been a number of call-handling protocols evolved.  The level of difficulty of the phone side is not insurmountable.  But, it will require agreement on what the receiving-end (V-1-1 dispatch office) could receive.

There is a great (high-level) discussion of cell phone modulation techniques in the Jan. 23, 2012 issue of Electronic Design that you can read here that discusses the differences.

For the purposes of discussion both here and on the V-1-1 website, we’ll refer to the information coming off the phone as “composite V-1-1.
The [simple] engineering task is this:  We need to get simultaneous audio and video off the phone, with an enhanced data stream (possibly using the “caller ID” stream enhanced to give GPS location) and get it moving toward the dispatch office.

Depending on phone (hardware constrained) there would be speakerphone capability, as well.

When this [optional] feature set is available (depending on phone) the V-1-1 dispatcher could ask questions of the incident scene.
As you can quickly intuit, the V-1-1 system will not only be able to deal with crime, but also of importance to the aging population, it will be able to deal with personal health crises such as heart attacks and vehicle accident injuries, as just a few examples.

Picture falling down a flight of steps and being able to summon aid with a simple click…

At the Cell Company Level
After we get the composite V-1-1 data off the phone, conversion to the V-1-1 standard may be accomplished at one of two locations.
The first (most desired) would be that the conversion work is done by the cell phone app itself.  However, that data stream may (or may not) work on a particular cell system type.

Major flavors to be addressed include the GSM phones and those using CDMA, for example.

The conversion to V-1-1 data might take place at the cell sites, but there is an added layer of complexity involved here:  While a single “converter box” would certainly work (and be cost-effective) it also would become the chokepoint in the data. 

Thus, the additional requirement here would be the ability to handle N calls to V-1-1 simultaneously.

Again, this is an architectural decision which should be delegated to a design group which would be drawn from the universe of cell phone makers, cell system operators, and dispatch center clients.

At the V-1-1/9-1-1 Dispatch Office
In comes the video.  Upon receipt, all three streams (data, video, audio) in the composite signal are received and recorded using existing PVR (personal video recorder) technology.
Obvious future enhancements will be “screen scraping” of video frames in order to pipe them into a facial recognition system.
Another would be the future evolution of a fourth data stream for capture which would be the 10-closest phones to the location of the V-1-1 caller.  This information would be invaluable for investigators, detectives, and so forth.

This data would also be ideal for emergency notifications such as “Active shooter nearby.  Seek cover.  Avoid contact.  Send video.”
And this capability, in turn, using what we might call the Law Enforcement Grade Video, could be back-fed from the V-1-1 system direct to video displays, such as those already existent in modern, well-equipped police units.

On the manufacturing side, the next generation of police radios could be evolved such that not only is the Dick Tracy wrist radio concept realized, but it becomes the Dick Tracy Wrist Crime Scene Television. 
The value of such information (not to mention the increased safety of responding officers) would be incredible.  Most injuries to officers occur walking (essentially blind) into events like domestic disturbances.

The V-1-1 concept gives the first-responder much greater ability to respond.
Additional App Enhancements

Fine tuning of the app is also encouraged.

For example:  The app may include a standard triggering code.
Press the app once and a normal emergency call (video, audio, location, speakerphone on) would be initiated.  This would be idea for women walking to their cars at night and being accosted by criminals.
Press the app twice and the same call is made, except this time, the speakerphone is off.  In this way, a woman who is being violently attacked (as in domestic violence) could report a violent event, officers could be dispatched, video back-feed to first-responders and all, but the perp would not necessarily be able to realize the cell phone was feeding live data to local police.

Press the app three times and the information is coded to roll health crisis response (Seattle legendary Medic One program, or EMT/Paramedic response).  The same data stream would be used (cell phone on) and the benefit is that everyone in the aging population now has a potential life-saving help system.

Method of Invention?
TRIZ which we have covered many times in past Peoplenomics reports.
/?tri?z/; Russian: ?????? ??????? ???????????????? ?????, teoriya resheniya izobretatelskikh zadatch) is “a problem-solving, analysis and forecasting tool derived from the study of patterns of invention in the global patent literature”.[1] It was developed by the Soviet inventor and science fiction author Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues, beginning in 1946. In English the name is typically rendered as “the theory of inventive problem solving”,[2][3] and occasionally goes by the English acronym TIPS.
Following Altshuller’s insight, the theory developed on a foundation of extensive research covering hundreds of thousands of inventions across many different fields to produce a theory which defines generalisable patterns in the nature of inventive solutions and the distinguishing characteristics of the problems that these inventions have overcome. “

Next Steps
Someone needs to pick up the ball and run with it.  I’m a systems guy, I can see it working, I can describe it well enough.  But there would need to be a large public groundswell in order to make this work.
Each step along the way could be accomplished without long discussions and without evolving a huge bureaucracy.

Independent app developers could evolve apps for the phones.
The routing within a cell system could be picked up as a massive “good guy” marketing tool by cell companies which would increase market share.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be one of the early adopters of a technology that will take a major bite out or crime and that promises to deliver emergency medical response faster than a human operator?

Think about this one for a moment:  When a call comes in to the 9-1-1 (legacy audio system) precious time is spent ascertaining the location of the person in crisis.  Not with this system.  The location (by GPS and signal strength triangulation) would be almost instantly known.
Unlike the audio/legacy system it would augment, the V-1-1 system would work when people are not capable of speaking!

And then there’s the matter of public involvement.

I believe the public would become hugely involved in the V-1-1 concept because private citizens understand the capability of technology and I believe will trust one-another more than they would trust an impersonal semi-police state, when it comes to surveillance.

While there may be justification for NSA surveillance to root out would-be terrorism, the general public already knows that there is a huge benefit to public safety hidden in all this technology somewhere.
The problem is “How do we get to it?”

I believe V-1-1 is one solid answer and so I present it to you this morning for your review and consideration.

If you forward the concept to enough law enforcement, fire, emergency medical personnel, cell phone company employees, and public safety officials (including your state legislators and congressional representatives) I believe we could have a roll-out of an actual alpha system within 9-months.

If it turns out the standard composite signals are not too difficult at the phone level, a demo system would be widely utilized within a year.
Whichever cell phone operators grab this ball and run with it will be huge winners because they will have put the public safety ahead of corporate greed.  And that’d be a good enough reason for us to change cell phone providers.

And that’s what it comes down to, for me (as a business consultant):  What’s the money angle.

This is the better mouse trap. 

I’m asking you to share it.
I’m asking you to become actively involved in creating a better future. 

Right now!

This was also put out on our website here as “Send this to Every Cop You Know.”

And our website expired (I don’t have time to keep all my good ideas up).  But you can still find it over here at the web archives.

It was also published here on January 10, 2014.

Here’s my new concern.  the U.S. Patent office allowed a patent claim to be granted in October of 2014 for similar technology.  And now with the Israelis coming up with an app…looks like this idea is about to “go viral.”

My intent, both now, and in the Peoplenomics piece, written before the US patent is that there are some damn good ideas that should go into the public domain…and stay there.

This one is obvious and because it was published before the US patent grant nine months before the US patent, I think should remain where I put it on January 8 and 10 of 2014.

In the public domain.  Because it was, is, and continues to be a damn fine idea.  Here’s hoping lawyers and greed don’t screw it up.

imageThis is not the first time I have been way ahead of time on an idea:  Broadcasting software over radio was something some colleagues and I did back in 1983 when, as news director of KMPS AM-FM in Seattle, (on-air name George Garrett) we did a public affairs program at 7 AM on a Sunday morning.  During the program Introspect we broadcast 300-baud modem tones which sent a rudimentary text file that was received and printed up by nearly 300 listeners. 

At the time, my colleagues were working on some proprietary technology.  It you ever hear those terribly irritating scratching noises during a NOAA weather radio alert, that is a text file being sent out to emergency services.  (Hardly anyone knows that, today.)

But you may have heard of the core technology we were shoveling out of the gray matter back in ‘83.

It’s called wireless data broadcasting.

This could lead into a long discussion about life-loops and how some of the mistakes we’ve made before (not following my own technology insights) has cost me perhaps millions.  It’s too late with this one for it to happen, but like wireless, this idea is too big to be put back in the bottle.

And legally speaking, too obvious.

Write when you break even.

Write when you break-even,

5 thoughts on “Coping: Another Peoplenomics “I Told You So….” V-1-1”

  1. “””Someone needs to pick up the ball and run with it. I’m a systems guy, I can see it working, I can describe it well enough. But there would need to be a large public groundswell in order to make this work.”””

    I totally see it.. especially since there seems to be more crime being committed by those that swore to serve and protect that is finding camera’s everywhere including their own recording crimes from every angle.

  2. > wireless data broadcasting
    I heard a local Houston station doing such a thing on the morning drive show back in that time frame (83 or )later.

    • I headed up the Sofcast Division of Digital Systems International (which later became Avaya). We got at its peak 31 stations to broadcast bits of data on the air…

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