What is Alert & Respond?™
Covia Labs’ Alert & Respond product is a collaborative interoperable communications system that supplements existing public safety radio systems with advanced situational awareness and command and control features based on inexpensive consumer smartphones and carrier data networks.
Why do agencies need this product?
Officially or unofficially, existing radio communications systems are being supplemented with the use of personal or department provided consumer mobile phones. Consumer smartphones such as the iPhone, Windows Mobile and Android cell phones provide Internet access, location services and access to satellite views, maps and background information available on the Internet. The carrier mobile phone networks often reach dead spot areas that are not covered by public safety radios, effectively extending communications range and coverage.
Alert & Respond exploits the potential of smartphones and carrier networks by creating a secure role-based integrated collaborative communications system based on these inexpensive mobile phones and a ever expanding carrier networks. Because Alert & Respond works across a wide range of mobile phones, computers, communications devices and communications networks, a high degree of interoperability can be provided.
Alert & Respond inexpensively supplements existing public safety radio communications systems with richer communications across more agencies and devices with greater area coverage and better security. Alert & Respond provides better communications, better sharing of information, and improves operational efficiency and ultimately saves lives.
Who is the target market?
Alert & Respond is sold to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
What kind of devices can be integrated?
Alert & Respond is primarily deployed on popular smartphones and computers; but just about any emergency response system or mobile device can be connected through the Covia Labs Alert & Respond product – including systems with different operating systems, network protocol or user interface. These include mobile devices carried by police officers and firefighters, walkie-talkies, dash-mounted laptops, GPS units, smoke detectors, gunshot alarms, surveillance cameras, etc.
What are the main features?
- Reduces cost and deployment time by using off-the-shelf mobile phones, computers, cellular data networks, etc.
- Access to information and control restricted according to security levels
- All communications and data are encrypted
- Automatic establishment and breakdown of secure perimeters for different incidents
- Encryption of all communications using DART-SSL™ technology
- Centralized logging of all transactions on a secure server
- Synchronization of voice, text, pictures, GPS locations, maps, and control panels
- Voice messages are always intelligible
- Instant Replay™ of any voice messages or video
- Officer Down automatic detection/alerting
- Automatic routing around communications failures using patented Serial Bridging™ technology
Is the product secure?
Alert & Respond is built on Covia Lab’s DART platform which contains extensive integrated security features weaved throughout the device software, communications, storage and administrative systems. All security features are based on standard PKI algorithms. For more details, see How it Works.
Alert & Respond allows devices, such as commercial mobile phones, to be securely used for emergency response. It provides authentication of devices, encryption of communications, and encryption of all data stored on devices.
Why not just standardize our communications network and mobile devices?
Standardizing the communications network and mobile devices can be very inflexible. Because equipment is improving rapidly, what is required is a system to manage the distribution and evolution of your organization’s communication system. It is essential that everyone is able to communicate seamlessly as they arrive on scene – regardless of the hardware they are carrying. Covia Labs’ Alert & Respond ensures interoperability without having to standardize equipment.
What are some examples of integrated communications achievable through this product?
Dispatchers can instantly send pertinent information such as suspect profiles, casualty reports and the location of other responders and staging areas to personnel. Witnesses can upload video of the crime and police can access surveillance video from their iPhone. Firefighters can access maps of triggered smoke detectors and locations of hydrants and hoses. A commanding officer can take control of responding units while en route to the scene.
How are devices authenticated?
The Covia Connector unifier program on each device generates a public/private key pair when it is run the first time. A statistically unique 128-bit Device Id is formed as a hash from the public key. Establishing the required secure encrypted communications session is impossible if the device does not have the private key corresponding to its Device Id.
Mobile phones are usually addressed by phone number; however, Alert and Respond requires additional authentication by using the carrier SMS system to send and receive a message to ensure that the correct device is being communicated with. Once the phone number has been authenticated through the carrier infrastructure, the Covia Connector generated Device Id is used.
Is the product out-of-the-box or customized?
Covia Labs sells an out-of-the-box version of its products or we can work with you to develop a custom solution suited to your specific needs. We also offer a developer kit to help you create your own custom applications.