Wearable gateway to help responders communicate on game day

Wearable gateway to help responders communicate on game day

A wearable gateway will help police and responders communicate during activities surrounding Super Bowl 50.

The San Mateo County, Calif., Sheriff’s Office, which recently helped test the Mutualink Wearable Smart Gateway, will use the device to improve situational awareness and provide interoperable communications to first responders on game day. WSG is designed to let public-safety users securely connect multiple wearable or carried monitors and devices into a lightweight hub.

“We’ll be using the WSG for the upcoming Super Bowl and to communicate between our regional operational centers throughout our region,” Detective Sal Zuno of the Sheriff’s Office said.

“Since it’s a regional event, there’s going to be more than one county involved, so we’ll be using it to communicate between departments and emergency operations centers,” he said. “If a situation occurs we will also discuss using it in the field.”

With the WSG, responders’ devices -- from biometric sensors to body-worn cameras -- can be connected via wire, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, according to Mike Wengrovitz, Mutualink's vice president of innovation. Information stored at the gateway can be shared to enable on-scene collaboration, he said.

“One of the biggest things that we like about the technology is that the link is secure,” Zuno said. “You must be invited and allowed access to get into the network. Users can share real-time information such as audio, video and files.”

The WSG was used by the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services in July 2013 during an incident at San Francisco International Airport and late last year in Urban Shield, a large-scale regional preparedness exercise, where the system was used to stream video. “It was very valuable because it gave us real time information of the incident… during the exercise,” Zuno said.

Zuno said he considers WSG a valuable tool for large-scale events like the Super Bowl because users can  communicate and share information through one secure platform.. “In addition," he said, "it’s not limited by geography -- we can connect to someone in Southern California or in New York. As long as we have Internet access we can share, so the possibilities are pretty broad.”

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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