Friday, 29 December 2017

Awesome App to Help Locate People in Areas Without Network

Scientists have developed a smartphone app that can
be used in emergency situations arising due to
earthquakes, floods or forest fires, where mobile
phone infrastructure is often rendered useless.
The system created by researchers at the Universidad
de Alicante (UA) in Spain makes it possible to locate
people who have suffered an accident in remote
locations without a phone signal and where a speedy
rescue is essential to save lives.
"We have designed an application (app) that can be
incorporated to any smartphone and that, without a
signal, emits a Wifi signal which in turn acts as a
distress beacon over a distance of several kilometres,"
said Jose Angel Berna, creator of the technology and
professor at UA.
This signal contains the location (coordinates) of the
person who has suffered the accident or disappeared
and is using the smartphone emitter, along with a short
message that can be altered depending on the
situation, with examples such as "I am injured," "I am
disorientated," or "I need help," said Berna.
In order to detect the distress signal, the researchers
have also created a light, portable receptor device that
rescue teams or mountain shelters could use.
This device has a small antenna and connects to the
smartphone of the search party. When an accident
occurs, the victim only has to activate the mobile
phone app, which will, in turn, emit the distress signal
periodically - for hours or even days, even if they are
unconscious - indicating the coordinates of its
During the tests performed on ground and sea it was
confirmed that the device can pick up the distress
signal of the emitting smartphone up to a distance of
two or three kilometres, respectively, although it may
be possible to increase its reach, researchers said.
"At present, there is no system in the world that uses
Wi-fi signals to geo-locate a smartphone. There are
devices that allow you to detect mobile phone signals
from a smartphone and pinpoint its location through
triangulation, but it costs around EUR 80,000
(approximately #34,571,648) and requires the use of a
helicopter," said Berna.
However, the new system is more economical, "as its
receptor has a cost that would allow its
commercialisation for approximately EUR 600 (roughly
259,258 ) if used by a large number of rescue teams," he added.