TeleCommunication Systems has launched a beta test of SMS 911 technology on the University of Maryland–College Park campus. The test, which will last approximately three months, will examine the viability of sending emergency messages to the campus PSAP via an SMS text message sent through a mobile device.

The TCS SMS 911 technology is designed to allow people who are hearing impaired and those who are unable to place a voice emergency call with the ability to communicate their situation and accurately to a PSAP via a text message. This would allow the PSAP to send the appropriate responders to the correct location faster, because the service automatically determines the caller's location as opposed to other techniques that require the sender to enter the location.

The test will be conducted utilising University of Maryland Department of Public Safety personnel, who will send various test emergency text messages that will be received by university police operators. The operator will receive both the caller's location and text utilising the TCS SMS 911 PSAP graphical user interface (GUI). Campus emergency responders will receive a test notification. This technology will allow campus emergencies to be communicated to university authorities with the help of texting.

The University of Maryland Police is participating in this trial to provide valuable experience necessary to develop SMS 911 PSAP call taker requirements with TCS. This trial will also enable optimise the service to meet end user needs.