UMD To Introduce "Video 911"
A University of Maryland computer science professor is getting to roll out what he hopes will catch on one day as the next version of 911.
Soon, on the University of Maryland campus, students or faculty members will be able to hold up their cell phones and instantly relay video to emergency responders if they see an emergency or a crime in the works.
Dr. Ashok Agrawala said that he believes that the service, which he calls v911, is the first of its kind.
Agrawala believes that when it becomes widely-known that the University of Maryland has this service on this campus, it will discourage crime. "The biggest impact is the deterrent effect," he said.
While Agrawala said he'd like to see this service catch on beyond the UMD campus, one inhibiting factor on that front could be the speed of the average wireless network. V911 is made possible in part because the college has a high-speed wireless Internet connection across its campus.
And while the service will be available on popular devices from cell phone makers like Nokia, it won't be available for the popular iPhone just yet. Apple's smartphone doesn't have video-capturing capability (there have been rumors that a new version of the device on the way will have that feature... but that's another story).
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