Tiburon released a new version of its mobile data system, MobileCOM that allows first responders to receive dispatch, state and national database queries, and location mapping data, from their vehicles hands free.

“One of the biggest upgrades to the product is that it supports complete voice control of the applications so that users don’t have to take their eyes off the road or a suspect to perform transactions like status updates, request for information or license plate lookups,” said Del Pullen, product manager with Tiburon.

Originally released a year ago, MobileCOM, is part of a suite of products that complement Tiburon’s CAD system. The product includes all of the bells and whistles that any first-responder could ask for to improve their safety in the field. When used with GPS technology, police officers and other emergency personnel can locate the emergency call on a map in the vehicle and then use MobileCOM to determine the shortest route to the destination. The system can also “reverse code” the location, eliminating the need to enter specific address information during officer-initiated events, such as routine traffic stops. The solution also supports voice-to-text and text-to-voice translation and can be integrated into certain models of vehicles to perform tasks similar to Onstar’s consumer vehicle safety system, such as locking and unlocking doors.

The Freemont, Calif., police department has been using the system since August 2007. It cites the biggest benefit of the solution is officer safety, as police officers can perform functions without having to take their eyes off a suspect to access their computer.

Voice recognition technology has come a long way since the time when users had to train their mobile devices to recognize their own voice. This latest version of MobileCOM doesn’t incorporate any special voice-recognition software, just an off-the-shelf Microsoft solution, but is able to filter out background noises such as sirens and screaming prisoners by using a highly engineered microphone from Andre Electronics.

“A radio can be up at full volume in the background and still pick up the user’s voice at an extremely high level,” Pullen said.

Other upgrades in the future will include radar integration so that officers can quickly and more accurately capture speeders.

So far, six agencies have purchased the MobileCOM system with a number of projects in the works, Pullen said. However, he added that companies like Tiburon are hoping their solutions don’t get stalled by the economy.

“Whatever is happening in the economy is reflected in our industry by a 12-month lag,” Pullen said.

Indeed, many local jurisdictions already are cutting back on spending and imposing hiring freezes.