DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 22, 2005
PacketHop(TM) Communication System Provides Mission-Critical
Wireless Broadband Incident Area Networks and Multimedia
Applications Whenever Needed by First Responders
PacketHop(TM), Inc., the leader in mobile mesh networking software and multimedia applications for instant wireless group communication, today announced the industry's first solution designed to instantly interconnect police, fire and other public safety departments' communications at the scene of an emergency. The PacketHop Communication System consists of the TrueMesh mobile mesh networking software and the Aware(TM) for Public Safety suite of multimedia applications. The system enables instant and secure mobile broadband networks anywhere, with or without any infrastructure present. In addition, the Aware for Public Safety multimedia application suite delivers mission-critical information to first responders in the field. Using PacketHop's breakthrough technology, police officers, firefighters and other public safety personnel can view and share real-time multicast video by attaching cameras to their mobile devices and streaming live video to all users on the network. Other important functionality includes multimedia instant messaging, whiteboarding and resource location tracking on localized electronic maps.
The PacketHop Communication System works with readily available off-the-shelf devices with Wi-Fi capabilities, giving users the freedom to select best-of-breed mobile devices rather than commit to a single, proprietary line of products. Additionally, the PacketHop Communication System is proven in the field, having been successfully demonstrated by law enforcement departments along with thirteen federal, state and local public safety agencies comprising the Golden Gate Safety Network at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The PacketHop Communication System will be available for general distribution in September 2005.
''We are proud to be empowering public safety agencies with the ability to instantly communicate anywhere and anytime, whenever and wherever needed, and to do so quickly and cost-effectively by introducing our standards-based, infrastructure-free wireless mesh networking solution,'' said Michael Howse, president and CEO of PacketHop. ''PacketHop is committed to providing reliable and secure communications so law enforcement and other public safety personnel can perform their duties more safely and efficiently.''
After 9/11, police, fire, and other state and government public safety organizations began re-thinking the capabilities of their communications infrastructure. As demonstrated in the recent London bombings, voice traffic can easily flood conventional wireless networks during a major emergency, which may slow the network to a crawl or bring it down completely. Reliance on fixed infrastructure and the absence of inter-agency connections can leave wireless networks vulnerable to miscommunication or even total system failure.
The federal government has allocated $10.9 billion to date for first responder agencies to improve their equipment and training as part of the Department of Homeland Security's grants initiatives. ''Police, fire and other public safety agencies are investing in new technologies that will strengthen their communications systems,'' said Jeff Vining, vice president of Gartner Research. ''Autonomous mobile mesh networks will provide law enforcement with media-rich information, enabling them to do their jobs more efficiently and safely.''
The PacketHop Communication System fundamentally changes the wireless communications environment by offering high performance, reliability and the freedom to work with or without fixed infrastructure. Its innovative mobile mesh networking software easily loads onto any standards-based laptop, tablet and PDA, enabling every device to send, receive and route data and to instantly form an extended Wi-Fi hot-zone on the fly which can operate with or without wireless access points -- known as an autonomous mobile mesh network. The network grows and becomes more resilient as additional users arrive, with no practical limit on the geography, number of users or variety of agencies; the network adjusts itself as users enter, move about and depart the area.
PacketHop's solution is applicable to numerous scenarios common in all jurisdictions across the country, including tactical assault and containment, investigative surveillance and large scale, multi-agency incidents. Law enforcement personnel will be able to instantly set up mobile broadband incident area networks wherever they are required, creating a secure, mission-critical network at single and multi-agency incidents both large and small. This new capability bolsters efficiencies in response time and increases first responder personnel safety.
PacketHop's Aware for Public Safety situational awareness application suite operates without a network-based server and seamlessly integrates multimedia capabilities -- including real-time multicast video, resource location tracking, multimedia instant messaging and whiteboarding. These applications expand the ways public safety agencies and first responders communicate by enabling them to instantly share media-rich, mission-critical video and data whenever and wherever they need it.
Real-Time Multicast Video
Real-time multicast video enables users to simultaneously stream live video to all users on the network. During emergencies, first responders can attach a video or still camera to their mobile devices and transmit exactly what they're seeing over the wireless network. Rather than describing what they're seeing via the radio, real-time multicast video enables scene commanders to make critical decisions based on direct observations, not second-hand descriptions.
GPS Resource Tracking
GPS resource tracking enables users to be located in real-time on a high-resolution map or image that can be simultaneously shared by all users on the network. Scene commanders can be better informed as to the position of their colleagues and other critical assets at an incident area.
Whiteboarding enables users to ''mark up'' a captured video image, map or photo and simultaneously share it with one or all users on the network. Scene commanders can clearly mark the location of an emergency or suspect, reposition first responders in the field or decide where a perimeter needs to be established -- silently and discreetly. Similar to how a football coach draws up a play on a whiteboard, a scene commander can easily convey tactical information to other first responders and collaborate on a course of action.
Multimedia Instant Messaging
Multimedia instant messaging enables users to communicate not only via text-based instant messages, but to also share files in a variety of formats -- including diagrams, still digital photographs and selected video frames. PacketHop's software also includes quick phrases such as BOLO (''be on look out'') which users can customize to match their particular jargon and relieve the burden on voice radio channels.
Additionally, PacketHop provides complete IT management software that allows an administrator to securely configure authorized users; this ensures that only users with permission to send or receive information can do so.
''PacketHop's technology enables police officers to better serve the community by providing wireless access to mission-critical multimedia content such as real-time video streams or resource tracking,'' states Chief Craig Steckler of the Fremont Police Department. ''PacketHop can help public safety agencies save money by avoiding costly infrastructure deployments while enabling us to safely and efficiently conduct frequently occurring aspects of our job such as investigative surveillance, tactical assault and containment and multi-agency incidents.''
PacketHop, Inc. develops mobile mesh networking software and multimedia applications which enable instant wireless group communication for commercial enterprises, government organizations and consumer markets. PacketHop Communication System software enables 802.11 standards-based devices to create extended Wi-Fi hot-zones on the fly -- known as autonomous mobile mesh networks --which can securely operate with or without wireless access points. By making infrastructure completely optional, PacketHop delivers coverage whenever and wherever instant wireless broadband communication is needed -- with greater resiliency, reliability and robustness than any other comparable technology. Along with the company's device agnostic mobile mesh networking solution that facilitates rapid and cost-effective deployments, PacketHop offers the Aware(TM) for Public Safety multimedia application with capabilities such as real-time multicast video, resource tracking, instant messaging and whiteboarding. Founded in 2003 and based in Silicon Valley, Calif., PacketHop is funded by venture firms U.S. Venture Partners, Mayfield, ComVentures and GF Equity Partners, as well as SRI International. For more information on PacketHop, please visit www.PacketHop.com.
PacketHop Aware and PacketHop Communication System are trademarks of PacketHop, Inc. The names of other companies and their products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Copyright Business Wire 2005