HighTech: Google Glass alerts Israelis with time & place of incoming rockets

 

A new application for Google Glassware provides immediate, real-time status on missile attacks. The alerts provide the time & location of the attack, giving users the time to take cover.

By Iddo Genuth

 

Rockets have been raining down on Israeli cities at a rate of over 100 a day for the past week. Although the Iron Dome anti-missile system has been able to intercept a large majority of those projectiles and prevent serious damage, some of them did get through, injuring civilians. Even when Iron Dome is able to destroy the incoming rocket, debris from the rocket and the interceptor fall and scatter over a large area – something that might prove lethal for unsheltered civilians.

To minimize the disruption to everyday life as much as possible, Israel has been divided into some 200 geographical areas – each with its own specific number. Every time a rocket is launched from Gaza, Iron Dome and other defensive radars across the country identify and track it along its trajectory, quickly calculating the exact location it will hit. This information is automatically sent to the siren alert system in the relevant area, triggering what is known as a “code red” alarm. People then have anywhere from 15 to 90 seconds to find shelter, depending on how far the incoming rocket has to travel.

Many Israelis have been wondering why the Home Front Command did not create an official app to notify civilians, especially in places when there are no alarm sirens. The Home Front Command has been struggling with the complexities of trying to send large numbers of SMS notifications to users in such areas. So far this new system has not been put into full-scale service despite large investments and several years of development.

Google Glassware (Glassware is what Google calls an app for Google Glass) has found a solution that provides immediate, real-time updates on missile attacks. The alerts provide the time and location of the attack, giving users time to take cover.

There have been previous attempts to create mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices that notify users each time an alarm is sounded. These attempts had only partial success, with some users failing to receive notifications – something which might not be acceptable for a potentially lifesaving app.

The developers of the new missile alert Google Glassware note that you don’t actually have to be in Israel to download and “experience” the rocket notification service, which Google Glass users can download for free from a link on the developer’s website.

 

Iddo Genuth is a technology reporter and editor, covering diverse topics ranging from medicine to mobile apps.

View original i24news publication at: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/technology/37156-140714-hightech-seeing-red

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