Mobile technologies are a hot topic among public safety and safety agencies – and for good reason. From mobile data terminals and tablets to smartphones and wearables, mobile technologies are improving the productivity, safety, and situational awareness of public safety personnel in the field.
In this podcast, I talk with Gina Steadman, product owner for mobile solutions with our Public Safety and Security division. Listen as we discuss rising mobile trends in public safety as well as how our mobile solutions are addressing the challenges of law enforcement and emergency response agencies.
Laura Beth: Thank you for joining us for an Intergraph SG&I podcast. In today’s podcast, we are talking with Gina Steadman who is the product owner for mobile solutions for Intergraph’s Public Safety and Security division. Gina is based in our Huntsville, Alabama office. Gina, thank you for joining us.
Gina: My pleasure.
Laura Beth: Gina mobile technologies remain a hot topic within the public safety sector. Mobile solutions boost safety and productivity in the field. So let’s jump right into it. Gina, what mobile solutions does Intergraph SG&I have to offer?
Gina: The mobile solutions we offer are Mobile for Public Safety and Mobile Responder.
Laura Beth: Let’s focus on Mobile for Public Safety first. Why is this vital product to public safety officials?
Gina: All mobile products give users access into the CAD world and that’s what Mobile for Public Safety is. It’s a subset of what departments use to take calls from the public and gather information so they can respond to calls and so forth. Specifically, Mobile for Public Safety is the car based application which gives officers and firefighters in the field the ability to know where they’re going, what the situation is, the details of the call, and more. It’s critical to the support of our citizens.
Laura Beth: What are some of its new features?
Gina: In this release, 9.3, we have provided some updated dispatch usability enhancements. These enhancements will make it easier to access and read information because users are in a mobile environment and we want to try and make it as easy as possible for them to get the information they need without being distracted from driving and so forth. In addition to those usability enhancements we have added a person location tracking feature which gives the ability to sign in personnel to give them devices where you can see those personnel on the map and situational awareness, which is vital and becoming increasingly important as we move to a map based type of focus in these applications.
Another key feature that we’ve added was map rotation. Several of our customers over the years have asked us for this feature, and we’re excited that it is a part of 9.3. So if you’re driving north, the map shows you driving forward on the map. And if you turn, the map turns with you, keeping your direction much like other mapping applications.
One of the other enhancements that has been impressive and that we now support in 9.3 is the attachment capability. Users can now add attachments to the dispatch report, as well as messages. You can send a picture, for example, a photograph of a sign, and attach that to the event. Attachments can be seen in Mobile Responder, as well as at dispatch.
Laura Beth: Let’s talk about Mobile Responder now. This is an application or app that can basically give you access to your computer-aided dispatch anywhere. What are its key features?
Gina: Just like Mobile for Public Safety (MPS) is a subset of information used by CAD, Mobile Responder is a subset of information used by MPS. Mobile Responder is a handheld device that gives you the things that you really need on a smaller screen, which makes it user-friendly while you’re mobile.
Mobile Responder provides, like Mobile for Public Safety, situational awareness and the ability to track locations, so that dispatch has an idea of where the unit might be. Person-Level tracking is support first by the unit, and then when personal need to move from Mobile for Public Safety in their vehicle to Mobile Responder on their handheld device, you can still use your officer’s location to provide them with the information they need and help keep them safe as well.
Laura Beth: What are some of the latest updates to Mobile Responder that our customers are excited to see?
Gina: Our customers are most excited about two features that I’ve already talked about. First, they’re excited about being able to track via a handheld device. Second, they’re excited about having the ability to see attachments in the field.
Laura Beth: What devices are these solutions available on?
Gina: Currently, they are available on IOS, Blackberry, Android, and most recently, Windows 8.1.
Laura Beth: I know you take in a lot of customer feedback about these mobile solutions. What are they telling you, and how does the feedback that you receive drive future development?
Gina: As I mentioned before, what we need to do as a company with our products and applications is to evolve with our customers. Our customers are becoming focused on situational awareness, but the trend is to be more map-focused and to be able to navigate away from the map screen and in order to complete another task. As product owner, it’s my responsibility to be the liaison between the customer and the development team, in order to make sure we’re hearing our customers, understanding their needs, and providing for our customers.
Laura Beth: Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you would like to share with our audience?
Gina: Yes, I’m very excited about Intergraph’s offerings for our mobile technologies. As I mentioned before we do listen to our customers. We are evolving. We’re making our products better, more efficient and capable for our customers to make real-time quick decisions based on their needs. And I’m excited for us to be able to provide that information to our customers and to continue to evolve by listing to our customers and to make our products better and what they need. And that’s the exciting part of what we do today.
Laura Beth: Gina, we appreciate your time and thank you for being our guest. You can learn more about our Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure mobile solutions by visiting our website.