Beat The Emergency With A New Smart Phone App

In your everyday life, you probably have seen a lot of crimes and emergencies happening.  Big or small, witnessing a crime or an emergency is upsetting even if you weren’t the victim.

The University of Maryland police department is now testing an APP that will allow police to monitor live video of an emergency situation and will allow a mobile user to beam video to the police station in a time of need.

The app is called M-Urgency.  It essentially takes advantage of Android devices’ GPS sensors, video cameras, and microphones to relay information to 911 emergency response teams.

The App was developed by Ashok Agrawala a computer science professor at theUniversity of Maryland.  The App is being tested by students. All students have to do is subscribe to M-Urgency through their phone using their student ID.  If they find themselves in an emergency situation, all they have to do is hit the button.

So let’s say you’re walking through campus late at night and you find yourself in some sort of emergency situation. If you’ve subscribed to M-Urgency, all you do is open the app, hit the call button which would connect you directly with a University of Maryland Police dispatcher, and then the dispatcher would be able to see what you see and hear what you hear.

The app can be used even in non-emergency situations. For example, it can be used by students to request for remote police monitoring on their way back to their residences after studying out late.

While the state university’s flagship campus does not have a serious crime problem,  Krishnamoorthy, a doctoral candidate who helped develop M-Urgency, said students are eager for smart phone applications that will help them feel safer on campus.

For now, it only works on theCollege Parkcampus. However, the developers say they hope to expand it to other colleges and communities in the coming months.

The app isn’t just about prosecuting criminals. It’s also about preventing them from committing crimes.



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