July 16, 2008
Forget all the E911 issues
, VoIP 911 problems
, etc. Just imagine texting 911 and having emergency personnel locate you. According to NWCN
, King County believes the technology will be "available sooner than you think." King County is testing this new concept in Western Washington and four other municipalities by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
It can handle text messages, OnStar vehicles that crash, and even VoIP emergency calls. King County calls it "Next Generation 9-1-1".
"The 9-1-1 system today cannot interface to any of those new technologies," said Marlys Davis, a spokesperson for the county.
According to the article, Davis stated it could still be a couple of years before the high tech service becomes reality.
The article is short on technical details. How does the 911 dispatcher locate someone that sends an SMS text message? Is it GPS? Is it cell tower triangulation (most likely since most cell phone don't have GPS). How are they tracking individuals that send an SMS? Should privacy advocates be concerned? Is this some super secret black ops program that the government is installing on the carriers network
to track all SMS messages and their originating location? Would be perfect to send a GPS-guided bomb or Hellfire missile onto anyone that sends a terrorist-related message. You know, like if you SMS your friend, "Tomorrow's party at the Seattle Space Needle restaurant is going to be da bomb!"