In the effort to design, implement and promote NEXES as the reference implementation of next generation emergency services for Europe and beyond, it has been deemed instrumental to create the NEXES Application Programming Interface (API) for the development of NEXES-based emergency applications (Apps) capable of connecting to and exchanging relevant information with next generation emergency services.

Applying the applicable NEXES system requirements for emergency Apps and the NEXES Pan-European Specification for Emergency Apps (PESEA), designed to provide a complete emergency calling application ecosystem, the NEXES partners defined and implemented the NEXES App API enabling a variety of emergency calling methods as well as the ability to provide ancillary data to support citizens in distress and emergency services.

The work leveraged thus on open source components, standards and protocols and focused on key functionalities that ought to be offered by emergency Apps ambitioning to serve next generation emergency services. Amongst those functions are: the connection to the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) server, the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) protocols for call initiation, the video codecs and the interface for device data exchange, including Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-based location information.

Specifically, the NEXES App API implemented two types of components. One component is dedicated to the calling mechanism and ensures the emergency App provides not only conventional (native) voice calling services but also Total Conversation capabilities, using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) technologies. The second component concerns data exchange and allows the emergency App to store, handle and share with emergency services additional information, namely location data, contact details and medical facts, to support a more personalised and effective emergency response.

The open NEXES App API consequently delivers reliable source code and binaries to enable functionalities that support the placing of emergency calls in an all-IP environment. Aside from assisting the ongoing development of the NEXES App for citizens, the NEXES App API intends to facilitate the design and implementation effort associated with the creation of next generation emergency Apps.

Together with the open source code, software and documentation, the NEXES partners make available a location server and the NEXES Mini Demo App to clearly demonstrate the advanced functions of the NEXES App API and, ultimately, of the NEXES App.

Moreover, the NEXES partners will continue to apply a broad dissemination and communication effort involving the NEXES App API, hoping to successfully engage a large App developers community into awareness on the importance of providing society with next generation emergency Apps. Ultimately, NEXES aims to build a rich NEXES-based emergency App ecosystem, capable of echoing NEXES’s positive impact and delivering more and better functionalities for citizens and emergency services.

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