NEXES Presents New Accessibility and Location Capabilities for Next Generation Emergency Services
The NEXES Consortium announces today that it successfully performed the first showcase of NEXES innovations for next generation emergency services. Featuring the NEXES PSAP System and NEXES Apps for citizens, the NEXES Showcase covered relevant capabilities on rich communications, enhanced location and the exchange of caller information clearly highlighting how NEXES empowers a new dynamic between emergency services and citizens, namely those experiencing deafness or hearing impairment.
The NEXES partners showcased how callers in distress use the NEXES App to reach emergency services using different communication channels (voice, real-time text and video) and share additional user information, such as language preference, location and health information, all of relevance to elicit the most adequate emergency response. It was also possible to see how emergency services’ benefit from integrating these new communication technologies into PSAP systems and receiving additional added-value information to develop better awareness of the emergency situation and determine a more effective and efficient response. The NEXES showcase also explored how next generation IP-based communications networks handle current emergency calls.
“NEXES has been able to maintain a high-level of innovation and sophistication as we drive on to disrupt the market of emergency services”, said Marco Manso, Director of Innovation of RINICOM and NEXES Coordinator. “With the consolidation of results at the infrastructure, system and applications levels, NEXES is now perfectly balanced to start a new phase of experimentation that will build NEXES Iteration One, that is the first implementation ever of an end-to-end next generation emergency service. All NEXES partners are enthusiastic to embark in this new adventure and shed a new light on the transition to emergency services capable of providing true solutions for citizens in distress.”
From January 17th to 19th, in Milan, Italy, the NEXES partners conducted several showcases aiming to demonstrate novel and advanced capabilities for next generation emergency services, currently designed, developed and implemented as an integral part of the NEXES System and Apps.
Next Generation Emergency Call via the NEXES App
Performed by Christer Ulfsparre and Filip Asplund from Omnitor, this showcase presented the NEXES capability to conduct a next generation emergency call, that is, an emergency call supporting video, audio and real-time text communication (commonly known as Total Conversation), as well as personal data exchange.
The NEXES components showcased included the NEXES App and a web-based Public Answering Safety Point (PSAP) client, capable of adequately handling the caller’s video, audio and real-time text exchanges, as well as the location data.
The Total Conversation emergency call relied on a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) server and media relay terminating in the NEXES Web PSAP System. As the caller moved, the NEXES App was capable of sending updated and accurate location information, issued from the phone’s location features, to a location server to then be retrieved by the NEXES Web PSAP.
Also relevant, this showcase highlighted the NEXES App capability to also send (in the initial SIP INVITE, using the Accept-Language header field) information on the caller’s language preferences, thus enabling the emergency call to be routed to a PSAP centre that is able to handle the caller’s language of choice, including sign language.
Native Emergency Call over VoWiFi carrying Location Information
Presented by Marius Iordache and Vlad Sorici from Orange Romania (ORO), this showcase revealed the NEXES capability to make emergency calls over VoWiFi using a next generation communications network, including the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and VoWiFi architecture elements (the Evolved Packet Data Gateway or ePDG and the Authentication, authorisation, and accounting or AAA server), and the NEXES Legacy PSAP Gateway. This Gateway exhibited NEXES capability to translate SIP messages to ISUP messages and also Real Time Protocol (RTP) to Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) traffic.
As part of this showcase, the NEXES components used were actually integrated in ORO’s communication network and the emergency call was answered by a real PSAP operator (previously informed and prepared), so that the process of the routing of the emergency call through the network could be traced and visualised.
NEXES NG PSAP Enabling SIP calls, Video and Location
The first NEXES NG System showcase was led by Cosmin Carjan and Claudiu Gura from Teamnet and it exhibited the addition of video, audio and data exchange (device location) capabilities to a legacy professional PSAP system (currently used by the Romanian emergency services) in order to transform it into a next generation PSAP system.
The end-to-end rich multimedia emergency call was originated by the NEXES App and answered in NEXES NG System Console, comprised of three screens. The PSAP operator was able to receive the emergency call, issue a request form and handle the caller’s video and audio communications. The caller’s location, benefitting from the phone’s capabilities, was also received at the dedicated screen.
For the purpose of this showcase, it were used PSAP Servers supporting SIP and VoIP located in Romania and the NEXES Location Server currently located in Sweden.
Introduced by Kari Uusitalo from IDS, the second NEXES NG System showcase verified the incorporation of real-time text capabilities in the NEXES NG PSAP System, using as basis the advanced professional PSAP system currently used by the Finnish emergency services. It also worked seamlessly with the NEXES App.
For the purpose of this showcase, PSAP system instances were deployed in laptop computers. They successfully proved the capability to handle a SIP emergency call issued by the NEXES App using real-time text features.
Emergency Call carrying User Information in a Roaming Situation
Organised by Bertrand Casse and Sergio Vavassori from Deveryware, this showcase illustrated NEXES’s implementation of the Pan-European Specifications for Emergency Applications (PESEA) to deliver user information, including location data, in a roaming situation.
Existing emergency Apps tend to involve application providers operating at a national or regional level, at best. Using the PESEA, NEXES leverages on the capability to exchange caller information, including location data, across borders and in a secure way.
This showcase illustrated a Spanish tourist in Slovenia calling for emergency assistance with an emergency App registered in Murcia, Spain. Three PSAP Service Providers (PSPs) were used: the originating PSP in Madrid, an intermediary PSP in Murcia and the Terminating PSP deployed in Slovenia.
Using the NEXES Application Programming Interface (API) components, an emergency App initiated a voice-based emergency call. For the purpose of this showcase, simulated location information was used, identifying the location in Slovenia. Consequently, the terminating PSP located in Slovenia received the emergency call and the user information provided through the intermediate Madrid PSP.
Because the emergency App is registered in Murcia, caller data is received by the Murcia PSP and forwarded to the national PSP (in Madrid), which then directs it to the last destination: the Terminating PSP in Slovenia. It is the Slovenian PSP that finally forwards the user information, including location information, to the Slovenia PSAP centre.
Next Generation Emergency Calls via WebRTC Technology
Led by Janez Sterle and Urban Sedlar from the University of Ljubljiana, this showcase focused on the adoption of Web-based Real Time Communications (WebRTC) technology to develop next generation emergency services based on rich multimedia end-to-end communication (video, audio and chat).
Using the WebRTC NEXES App, a caller in distress initiates an emergency call that is routed to the appropriate PSAP centre, which also accesses the user’s information, namely location data, following the PEMEA specification. The PSAP centre receives an incoming emergency notification and establishes the video communication with the caller in the WebRTC NEXES PSAP System, displaying the caller’s location information on a map.
Once the call is terminated, the PSAP operator redirected the caller to a web-based survey, which collects additional data regarding the emergency.
This showcase made use of several NEXES components, including the NEXES APIs, the WebRTC NEXES App, the WebRTC NEXES PSAP and a Mobile Positioning Server (MPS) to provide the information location issued by the mobile operator.