PowerPhone received a patent for its Incident Linked Multimedia (ILM) software, which provides a tool for emergency call centers to receive, prioritize and process text, video and image messages from cellular and other non-traditional callers. The ILM system lets the 911 center solicit incident-specific images from cellular callers and receive and process such images based upon a proprietary message-priority engine, said Eric Esfahanian, vice president of sales and marketing. Once received by the center, ILM can incorporate the images into existing computer-aided dispatch and records-management systems.

“We believe strongly that the approach we have created — now patented — will really set the standard for the future of incorporating images and texts into 911,” he said. “We plan to vigorously defend this patent as technology evolves and more players enter the market.”

Esfahanian said the software-based system lets emergency communications operators incorporate text and video messaging into 911 data collection to assist in emergency response and evidence preservation. The call taker accepts an incoming call. Then, the call taker sends a text to the phone to set up a communication link between the caller and 911 center. The caller can then send back to the PSAP a picture, a text or even a video message.

“If there is a domestic assault and the suspect has left the scene, now the victim can take pictures in real time of the damage or suspect and send it to 911 while the responders are on their way,” Esfahanian said.

Esfahanian said the text or pictures are then added into the incident record file. They are stored in a database powered by a prioritization engine that “not only stores those images but directly links them to an incident record in CAD,” he said. “It also establishes a prioritization mechanism that agencies can control themselves in order to automatically prioritize certain images or videos over others to determine the response types.”

As a result, evidence captured at the scene can be incorporated into crime-scene investigations.

“Along with the improved response you’re also getting more information more quickly,” Esfahanian said. “You also are able to gather a more comprehensive set of data.”

This patent is the third issued to PowerPhone in the last 18 months, Esfahanian said. Beta-testers are being recruited, and pricing has not been determined, he said.