IWCE: Inventor unveils new alert system
LAS VEGAS–Arkansas-based inventor Robert Eichman this week is demonstrating at IWCE 2006 an emergency-alert package that offers the promise of getting first responders to the scene of an incident more quickly than existing solutions.
Known as the Quick Response Alarm (QRA), the frequency-agnostic package uses text-to-voice technology to deliver pre-recorded voice commands alerting appropriate personnel of incidents on a two-way radio network, Eichman said. When an alert is triggered—be it a panic button pushed by a crime victim or a sensor detecting an unwanted situation—a message regarding the situation is delivered via the radio system.
“Here’s a product that is simple, cost-effective and makes public safety look good,” Eichman said.
Indeed, the QRA solution sends the alert message directly to first responders’ radios at the first available opportunity—it does not pre-empt ongoing conversations. The alert is delivered in seconds to the responder instead of the minutes that are lost as communications go through an alarm company, 911 center and dispatch before reaching the first responder.
Developed in conjunction with local police and fire officials, the QRA is designed to minimize false alarms, Eichman said. With this in mind, Eichman said he believes the QRA should be used to notify police only when humans trigger manual silent alarms and that fire departments should be contacted only if a smoke alarm is triggered for at least 40 seconds without interruption.
However, because of the sheer volume of radio traffic in urban areas, Eichman said he envisions the QRA emergency-alert system primarily as a solution to be used in less populated areas.
But the QRA system’s potential applications extend well beyond the public-safety arena, Eichman said. By attaching a sensor to the package, hospitals can use the solution to inform personnel when a patient’s IV drip needs attention or a manufacturer needs to restock materials on an assembly line.
Phil Burks, president of The Genesis Group, applauded the simplicity of Eichman’s patent-pending QRA and the notion of tying an alert system directly to two-way radio communications.
“Are there other sensor alarms? Yes. What’s different about this is the method of delivery,” Burks said. “It’s like the paper clip—everybody’s overlooked it.”
Burks said his company plans to add greater intelligence to the system by integrating message-filtering technology into the QRA to ensure that the alerts are targeted to personnel who are relevant to the situation geographically and logistically. Genesis also “is looking very seriously” at developing a QRA solution for the trunked radio systems, he said.
Convention attendees can view demonstrations of the QRA at The Genesis Group booth (#1441) on Wednesday. For those who are especially enamored with the technology, Eichman has a standing offer during the show.
“Five percent of the company can be purchased for $100,000 by the end of IWCE,” Eichman said. “Any investor can come forward.”