Solacom Technologies, headquartered in the Montreal suburb of Gatineau, Quebec, unveiled its Guardian software suite that supports conventional and voice-over-IP call handling as well as next-generation 911 applications, said Eric Zander, the company's vice president of business development.

Guardian is a component of the company's emergency services platform that includes a next-generation geo-spatial router, controller and automatic location identification, or ALI, database. It also includes the company's LibertySHIELD EG-200 hardware that supports connections to legacy GPE devices. (GPE is a graphical use interface, or GUI, environment for handheld computers that run on the Linux operating system.)

According to Zander, the software lets managers of public-safety answering points, or PSAPs, identify incoming information from wireless devices. Specifically, it gathers information from 911, administrative, enterprise private branch exchange (PBX), 311, 511, 711 and 211 lines in a unified environment. It also supports third-party computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and mapping interfaces, as well as call-logging recorders for all incoming 911 trunk communications.

Zander said the software interacts with CAD applications as well as radio devices, so operators can be on a conference call with a caller on a radio, at a 911 center or at different first-responder agencies simultaneously. Operators also have the ability to transfer data to separate agencies using a single button and have the ability to handle automatic call distribution.

A GUI provides what the company dubs a call-splash screen that chimes with or without call information. Screens can be personalized based on the operators' preferences, which include displaying selected agencies' labels and information. Other features include display time and date, a distinctive ringing tone per operator and call type. It also supports a profile-based log-in so operators can customize the interface based on their preferences and can access the data either from within the call center or remotely.

It also supports text messaging and video for future 911 applications.

“I'm not sure how ready the 911 marketplace is for the text and video application,” Zander said. “Nonetheless, we're ready for it and looking forward to seeing the technologies in use throughout the U.S.”

The suite is licensed to users through third-party vendors. The suggested retail price is $30,000, Zander said.


EFJohnson Technologies introduced a ruggedized access point designed for use by police, fire and rescue agencies for point-to-point or point-to-multipoint broadband communications. The 525 A-3 access point meets the IP66 standard for protection against water spray and the FIPS 140-2 secure data specification. It offers both DES and AES — 128-bit and 256-bit — encryption.


Kenwood USA announced the TKR-7400P/8400P VHF and UHF Project 25 conventional repeater system. The system consists of the TKR-740/840 repeater and the TRK-C40 P25 controller, which supports up to four conventional P25 channels to deliver digital communications while also providing continuous service to analog operations.

This ability provides analog users with a graceful migration path to P25, said Joe Watts, Kenwood's land mobile radio product manager. “This will allow them to keep using the equipment they already have, which always is important, but even more so in today's tough economy,” Watts said.


Bedford, Mass.-based iRobot launched the Negotiator, a bare-bones robotic chassis that can support third-party sensor and video devices, said Joe Dyer, president of the company's government and industrial robots division.

The Negotiator is an all-terrain tactical robot that reaches speeds of 3.1 miles per hour (9.3 km/h). Its basic chassis kit includes two NiMH batteries and a charger, an operator control unit and a ruggedized case. It comes equipped with video and audio plug-ins that are supported by voice over IP so users can “hear and see,” Dyer said. All data are sent over 900 MHz and video over 2.4 GHz. It also offers a communication range of up to 800 feet (line-of-sight) and software that provides two-way, digitally encrypted audio communications.

The solution supports third-party vendors' chemical or biological sensors. Also available are an optional pan/tilt, day/night camera system; a low-light infrared illuminated camera system; or a rear-mounted fixed day/night camera system.

“The Negotiator can put distance between the first responder and dangerous materials,” Dyer said.