Motorola releases incident-scene management suite
Motorola last week introduced Incident Scene Management, a suite of wireless broadband solutions for public-safety and government entities that are required to coordinate responses to large-scale emergencies.
Many components in the suite already exist in product form, including Sony IP mesh-enabled cameras for video surveillance and the MotoMesh networks for which the suite is optimized. However, these items have been packaged specifically for incident-scene usage, said Mike Fabbri, director of data solutions operations for Motorola’s network and enterprise unit.
“For instance, the Sony mesh camera certainly has existed,” he said. “What we’ve now done is integrated it in something that can be ordered on a tripod with battery backup, so you can deploy it in an emergency situation.”
Among the new components of the solution is a validated third-party software solution that allows whiteboarding and other decision-making communication applications on top of a MotoMesh network, Fabbri said. Motorola also has released a full line of ruggedized laptops with integrated modems that work in the 4.9 GHz public-safety band, he said.
“In the past, in order to incorporate 4.9 GHz licensed spectrum, we would put a 4.9 GHz PCMCIA card in the slot, which meant it wasn’t as rugged a device as it is now,” Fabbri said. “[Integrating the 4.9 GHz card] a big step and maintains the rugged military spec standards of the laptop.”
Although the products within the suite are optimized to work with Motorola’s MotoMesh and MEA-based technologies that enable ad hoc mesh networking, Fabbri said they can be used with other broadband networks. In addition, the suite can operate in the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band, although doing so may not be ideal for first responders in the case of a large-scale incident, he said.
“What we’ve found is that, especially in an incident where you have news crews and press showing up with 2.4 GHz devices, you run the risk of the public 2.4 GHz [traffic] starting to overwhelm what the emergency responders want to utilize,” Fabbri said. “With 4.9 GHz [spectrum], you can keep that separate.”