For Immediate Release
April 22, 2009
Contacts: Lee Tune, 301 405 4679 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MyeVyu System Offers Improved Campus Safety, Plus a Host of Personalized Info and Networking Tools
Note to Editors: Members of the MyeVyu/V911 team and a campus police officer will be available for media interviews and small demonstrations at 1 p.m., Thursday, April 23, in room 3450 of the A.V. Williams building.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - University of Maryland researchers have created a new emergency alert technology for cell phones and PDA's called V911, which they say could help improve safety on campuses across the U.S.
Created by scientists and students from the UM Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), the V911 technology is one tool in MyeVyu, downloadable software package for cell phones and PDAs that provides a host of new networking and information access capabilities, including a direct link between the user and campus police dispatch. With the touch of a single button, a user in distress could alert campus police of their identity and location, and stream live, GPS-enhanced video and audio of the incident situation. This new technology will be demonstrated for the public at Maryland Day on Saturday, April 25, 2009.
MyeVyu of Campus Safety
"MyeVyu is the kind of innovative technology that we can really use to substantially reduce and deter threats to those we are asked to protect," said Kenneth W. Krouse, the university's chief of police and director of the UM Department of Public Safety." It seems appropriate that it capitalizes on technologies developed through the University's own resources and assets. It is very much in the spirit of the department's mission, of community and campus service and safety, integrated with quality of life. Everyone who is concerned with security and well-being stands to benefit."
Others also have expressed appreciation for the value-added potential of such leading-edge innovations. For example, G. Thomas Steele, Chief Information Officer for the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, viewed a demonstration of some of MyeVyu's broadband integration capabilities and said he was impressed by the possibilities.
"These kinds of applications and technologies are the kinds of tools that go beyond just talking about interoperability and integration," said G. Thomas Steele, Chief Information Officer for the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security." Tangible capabilities like these can work for real people, in real settings. Today's public security and private safety are part of what amounts to an all-hazards environment, requiring new approaches and best practices."
The V911 application, created by Ashok Agrawala and his team of researchers and students from the department of computer science, is one of several features in their new MyeVyu system designed to improve both the quality of life and safety on campus. In addition to immediate contact with police dispatch, MyeVyu's untethered, broadband technology permits dispatchers to forward the device's audio and video to any squad car, including additional streams available from nearby security cameras, and automatically records all data streams involved. All of this information is integrated so that first responders can better prepare for the emergency situation as they are on their way to the scene.
In addition to the V911 technology, the MyeVyu program can provide up-to-date campus alert information, one more way to disseminate emergency information to the university community. Already available for iPhone, HTC Pro, and Nokia's N810, the product may soon be available for similar handheld devices.
"We are collaborating closely with campus police, campus transportation, the Office of Information Technology, and facilities management to acquire the necessary operational support and have this technology available to students and personnel as soon as possible," said Agrawala.
Already, MyeVyu and V911 are part of a pilot program on campus called the Mobility Initiative that is designed to see how handheld devices like the iPhone -- loaded with advanced technologies like MyeVyu -- may be able to improve the education and college experience of students.
The parent of one Maryland freshman spoke with relief about learning of her son's participation in the MyeVyu pilot program on campus. "I feel so much better knowing he has this additional protection, day or night, when he roams around campus. He can also find his classes, look up his schedule, and find out about the latest campus activities. He's already connected at the hip with his iPhone, so it couldn't be more convenient or accessible."
MyeVyu of WiMAX Apps
Many of the high-tech and experimental application features to be displayed on Maryland Day will be enabled by a WiMAX Broadband Mobile Wireless network being deployed by the University of Maryland's MAXWell Lab which, like the MIND Lab, is part of the UM Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. The MAXWell Lab, the first and only WiMAX Forum Applications Lab in the Western Hemisphere, is dedicated to developing innovative applications using broadband mobile wireless technologies. MyeVyu exemplifies the sort of application that can have a major impact on the quality of life of its users.
MyeVyu wireless technology has been developed not only to facilitate personal security, but personal productivity as well. Users have ready access to real-time campus information like scheduling and information regarding classes, building locations, activities, transit tracking and schedules, and more. In the palms of their hands, MyeVyu users have virtual universe of relevant, helpful interactive information, directives, and directions from mapping to menus or movies and more.
"A handful of teams at other universities are working on this kind of technology as well, but we are about a year ahead of them," said Agrawala. "Others have developed only subsets of the technology that we now have available in MyeVyu." Agrawala said he and his team next expect to have applications for such things as accessing social networking websites and campus event schedules, and mapping handicapped routes from point to point.
Maryland Day Demo
They will provide demonstrations of this technology this Saturday, April 25th, 2009 during Maryland Day in a tent in front of the math building. Ten-minute demonstrations will be held every hour on the hour, with information available between showings.
In addition Professor Agrawala, the large MyeVyu R&D team includes other Maryland faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students and even a high school student. Click here for a complete list. For more information about MyeVyu please contact [Professor Ashok Agrawala, e-mail email@example.com, phone(301)405-2525], or visit [www.mindlab.umd.edu/myevyu/].
Information provided by the Office of University Communications
Email University Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org