Newly Patented Text-to-911 System is Crucial Link For First Responders
LaaSer Critical Communications has received a U.S. patent (US patent #9,807,581) for its emergency caller location technology. The newest patent covers systems and methods associated with locating people who use text-to-911 and routing their messages to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), as well as providing accurate location data on anyone sending an emergency text.
Many of the same challenges that apply to voice call routing and caller geolocation likewise apply to those using SMS or other alternative methods of communicating with 911. In fact, texting even introduces a few new issues. For instance, texting is an asynchronous form of communication, so any delays caused by improper routing are amplified. Currently, fewer than a quarter of the nation’s 6,000-plus PSAPs can receive text messages from the public, but that number is growing rapidly.
“Our newly patented technology will go a long way toward making text-to-911 work as an effective method of connecting with emergency services,” says LaaSer Cofounder and Chief Architect Michael Self. “Naturally, people should make voice calls in an emergency if possible, but sometimes texting is necessary. People with hearing impairments or people who are unable to speak for whatever reason could notify emergency services more easily via text-to-911.”
In May 2014, the four major wireless carriers agreed to provide text functionality to 911 call centers if requested. That functionality must be delivered within six months of any request. The FCC encourages all PSAPs to accept 911 communications via SMS, but individual call centers must decide if and how to implement this service given its infrastructure, budget and other considerations. Part of LaaSer’s mission is to make these decisions a no-brainer for PSAPs by delivering an optimal solution that ensures that alternative methods of communicating with 911 are able to work with accurate location and appropriate routing.