From March to May 2017, the NEXES partners launched the first edition of the NEXES App Challenge, a creative and interactive showcase for next generation emergency Apps, developed by innovators from all over Europe.
Promoting the openness of NEXES, the NEXES App Challenge disseminated the recently released NEXES App API and the NEXES Testbed, offering a set of next generation functionalities capable of boosting the development timelines for emergency Apps. More specifically, the NEXES App API already delivers full accessibility features to emergency services, implementing a Total Conversation model that combines audio, real-time text, images and video to serve all citizens, including those experiencing disability and having special needs. Similarly, the NEXES Testbed assisted software developers when performing functional tests of their emergency Apps to verify the next generation capabilities. Interested developers were invited to follow the website dedicated to the NEXES App Challenge (http://nexesappchallenge.eu) and download the NEXES App API and step-up their Apps’ development cycles and to use the open NEXES Testbed to validate their Apps’ next generation capabilities.
During the 1st Edition of the NEXES App Challenge, the website had 187 visitors, who performed 61 downloads of the NEXES App API and managed to bring forth 8 submissions of next generation emergency Apps for the Challenge. These emergency Apps were:
Flayre 112 Emergency Service – Flayre App is an emergency contact platform that uses the reliability and robustness of smartphone technology to communicate critical location information via basic GSM mobile connectivity. Flayre is currently offered as a standalone App operating on Android with users in over 40 countries. The most attractive element of the Flayre service is the ‘Remote Wake’ feature which allows any permitted contact to activate a user’s location remotely, by sending them an SMS with the keyword ‘Flayre’. This in turn activates the Flayre App on the Flayre user’s phone and sends the location information by SMS to the concerned party. The Flayre App has a \’remote wake\’ service provision, meaning that it can be remotely activated by a concerned party so to send its latest location data over existing GSM connectivity and not a data network. Given the reliability of the service, it is often beneficial for users in the developing world where there is no internet access accessible.
(Contact Information: Eleanor Hayes, Business Development Representative, Eleanor@flayreapp.com,+35 3 8778 22 593).
LocAware – An application which monitors the location of the mobile device on which it runs and dispatches an emergency call if the mobile device -and thus, its user moves far from a predefined area. Moreover, wearable devices like smart watches are utilized in order to detect cases where the user neglects the mobile device and moves without it. The application could prove particularly useful for users with mental conditions – like dementia – or disabilities and children of small age. The application is based on the NEXES Mini App provided. The functionality of GPS monitoring and notification will be added upon. (Contact Information: Kleoniki Markou, firstname.lastname@example.org).
MDA Emergency App – A dedicated App which facilitates the management of the whole cycle of the mission in the management of a pre-hospital call, to be used by the different responders, providing real time information and allowing information sharing with the hospitals for time dependent pathologies. The system is already operative. 10’000 MDA staff and volunteers use the App on a daily basis.
(Contact Information: Chaim Rafalowski, Disaster Management and Research Coordinator, email@example.com, +97 2363 0 0205).
Pedius – Pedius is a communication system that allows Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals to make phone calls using speech recognition and synthesis technologies. Being an Italian startup, it has been evolved to have 15000 registered users in 10 countries. With Pedius App, deaf users can place a call in case of emergency to communicate the type of emergency and the position, all the information will be pronounced by an artificial voice.
(Contact Information: Lorenzo Di Ciaccio, CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, +393282617504, Gabriele Serpi, Evangelist email@example.com).
pe-SOS Emergency Call App for Smartphones with pe-SOS alert button – pe-SOS can provide help in situations, when the smartphone user is unable to reach or to handle the smartphone in case of acute emergency situations and danger (security and health problems). pe-SOS alert button novel product can activate an emergency call with the smartphone up to 20 meters far from and we are working in integration of medical data in cooperation with a German provider. Also we are working on SIP-technology based applications for a worldwide public alert system for information transmission to serve GPS tracking position of alert senders.
(Contact Information: Reinhard Mairhofer, General Manager, ticom Internetservices GmbH, firstname.lastname@example.org, +43 (0) 5332 71787 11).
Smart Help App – An operational, secure, privacy by designed solution that is in active use within 2 official emergency call centres in Norway since 2014 has been submitted by Smart Help. The system consists of three separate scalable parts:
- The free public SmartHelp-application (downloadable from Appstore and Playstore);
- The Command and control system (demonstrated in above video);
- The Secure encryption infrastructure that automatically sets up end-to-end encryption of information sharing.
The system is scalable, and based on where you are, automatically connects to the correct emergency call centre and initiate a call to the correct emergency phone number. The encryption is ultra-light weight, based on block chain and designed for expansion into IoT devices. It has been in active use in real emergencies since 2014.
(Contact Information: Fredrik Øvergård, Chief Executive Officer, email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org, +47 97 73 27 08).
TNO 112 Concept App – TNO is an independent research organization in The Netherlands. TNO’s idea explores the possibilities of a national 112 app. Conducting several experiments for the Dutch government, TNO 112 Concept App mainly focuses on a simplistic user interface, sharing the user’s location and enabling usage of text and video communication.
(Contact Information: Gerben Broenink, Cyber Security Specialist, email@example.com, +31 6 2350 4042; Johan van der Geest, Software Architect, firstname.lastname@example.org, +31 6 4696 6190).
Zachránka EMS App – Aplikace Záchranka, z.ú. is a non-profit organisation engaged in the development, implementation and distribution of the Zachránka EMS app and its software in the Czech Republic. Providing the emergency medical services with accurate information can be done easily through the EMS mobile phone App. This App uses all available services like GPS, A-GPS or WPS to confirm the user’s position, which is sent directly to the emergency services as an accompanying data package or a simple text message to the emergency call. The EMS App was tested and developed in cooperation with the emergency medical services and provides the most accurate information about the caller’s position. Through the App, emergency medical services can reach the patient in a far shorter period of time, thereby increasing the patient’s overall chances of survival. Plus, it contains an interactive First Aid guide with CPR, an intuitive user manual and a user profile where users can add important info such as any serious medical conditions or allergies that their emergency first aid responder should know about.
(Contact Information: Filip Malenak, email@example.com, +42 0 7375 78 365).
Most of these unique Apps and ideas were presented by their own creators in the closing Open Workshop Day, held in Athens on May 30th 2017, at the premises of the Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS), the NEXES partner organising the App Challenge’s First Edition. During the Workshop, the participants had the chance to present their innovations and share and exchange experience and knowledge with NEXES partners, representatives of the Greek Center for Security Studies (KEMEA) and the Greek General Secretariat for Civil Protection, as well as with end-users from the Hellenic Police, the Hellenic Fire Corps and the Hellenic Coast Guard. Presentations from NEXES technical teams framed the discussions about the next generation emergency Apps, the NEXES developments for a first-ever reference implementation of a next generation emergency service and the challenges for current PSAP systems to migrate to an all-IP landscape.
Aside from fostering cross-fertilisation activities between the NEXES RIA and the software developers’ community, encouraging the App software developers to use and exploit the NEXES open APIs and the Testbed. Moreover, the first edition of the NEXES App Challenge clearly revealed this initiative’s relevance to encourage the creation of innovative emergency Apps and help build and enhance a rich NEXES App ecosystem, contributing to generate awareness on European research and innovation efforts in general, as well as on the European standardisation effort to harmonise emergency Apps, in particular.
The 2nd edition of the NEXES App Challenge is about to start and will last till September 2017. Its closing will be marked by a second dedicated workshop that is scheduled to be held on 20th of September in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Participants will have one more opportunity to test their emergency Apps with the open NEXES Testbed, showcase the latest Apps developed in the field of 112 App ecosystem and exchange experiences and knowledge with the European 112 experts.
Be ready to get on board!
For more information, important dates and submissions’ details, we invite you to visit NEXES App Challenge official site at: http://nexesappchallenge.eu/.