America News: University computer scientist receives patent for automatic emergency and position indicator

America News:  University computer scientist receives patent for automatic emergency and position indicator

Leandra Vicci of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a patent for a device that contacts the emergency response service, reports its exact location and opens its microphone to transmit whatever is happening at the site of the emergency.

Vicci originally invented the device, which remains mute to avoid detection, as a type of automatic panic button for rape victims. However, the list of potential applications for such a portable device is long.

The idea was to combine a GPS receiver with a microprocessor and cell phone chips to make wireless connection with a GIS server, which translates geographic co-ordinates into locations understandable in plain language and can notify an emergency response service.

For instance: the 911 operator would hear: “This is an automated report of an emergency occurring at 100 feet north of the intersection of Rosemary and Graham streets in Chapel Hill. What you will hear is from a microphone at the scene of the emergency.”

The US Patent Office has issued the university and Vicci a patent on the idea for the "automatic emergency and position indicator", and this IP was recently licensed to a start-up company – Ymax – for development and commercialisation.

To read the full article on the University of North Carolina’s website, click here


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