Last Updated on
Wayfinding Kiosk Technology for Mission Critical Public Safety
Michael Dorety & Associates in Collaboration with Craig Allen Keefner, Olea Kiosks
Method for using wayfinding technology, kiosks, digital signage and mobile devices to prevent violent attacks on educational, medical and business campuses and at public venues through detection and location of gun shots fired, recognition of explosives and illicit drugs, and biohazards materials capable of mass destruction. The integrated solutions would include twoway communication and connectivity with campus and local 911 services to expedite the response of Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Providers.
September 28, 2018
The purpose of this document is to define how Wayfinding Technology, Digital Signage and Kiosks can be networked and used to detect and/or prevent active shooter and mass casualty attacks and expedite the response of Law Enforcement and Emergency Services First Responders to catastrophic events in large public venues. We will focus on several of the most respected technology providers in the industry and how they would each play a critical role as foundational partners to bring a combined solution to market.
The time line would be to have a prototype available for the National Retail Federation Convention in New York City on January 13-15, 2019. We also plan to show the prototype at various Law Enforcement, Education, Medical and Emergency Services trade shows and conferences in 2019. If successful, production with a limited set of the alert assets described below could be released to market next year with the underlying concept of an open architecture design that would afford the opportunity to add new features without the requirement for forklift retrofits moving forward.
Examples of some potential partners would be the following:
- 22Miles Software – Maker of the world’s leading Interactive wayfinding and digital signage software with the capability to integrate via API with most commercially available operating systems and platforms.
- Olea Kiosks, Inc. – A manufacturer of a wide range of kiosk hardware, all made in the USA.
- Kioware Kiosk – A security software platform provider integrated with Avaya Video Conferencing, a global cloud provider of high speed 1080 DP video conferencing.
- Shooter Detection Systems – SDS is focused on saving lives through the use of proven, military-grade technology designed by the world’s foremost scientists.
- AnyVision – Artificial Intelligence (AI) camera software capable of recognizing in real-time the presence of firearms in crowds as well as facial and emotion detection
- Excellims – A provider of ion mobility spectrometry technology cable of real-time detection of explosives and complex, dangerous drug compounds.
- Silverside Detectors Inc. – Creator of technology capable of detecting radiation in crowds or in vehicles moving at high speeds on urban streets and highways.
- Omron Electronics Components LLC – Developer of high-speed software capable of human facial recognition including expression, gender, age, eye gaze and blink measurement.
- Grey Innovation – Developer of a scanning system for explosive devices.
- VitelNet – A leader in first responder remote medical emergency solutions.
- American Well – A leader in remote medical support using video to connect medical professionals with first responders.
- Avaya Video Conferencing – A global cloud provider of high speed 1080p video conferencing solutions.
Note: The above technology companies and offerings are an example of technologies that could be integrated into the critical public safety Wayfinding Solution. We have been in contact with most of these organizations and have consulted for or done business with many of the companies listed above. However, a decision to utilize these technologies will be predicated upon critical response priorities, ease of integration, and cost considerations. Additionally, we will continue to search for best of breed solution providers capable of further enhancing the critical public safety Wayfinding Solution.
Historically, the primary purpose of Wayfinding technology has been to increase convenience when guiding the public to desired destinations within cities and large public venues, such as medical and educational campuses, retail malls and outlets, hotels and resorts, airports, train stations and office complexes.
The industry has been focused on creating an enhanced customer experience by delivering free-standing and wall-mounted display devices located throughout the facilities combined with mobile device integrations to further personalize the client’s engagement.
These technologies allow the visitors to be directed to their intended destinations, while at the same time being informed of nearby points of interest such as shopping and dining, popular visitor destinations, specific departments, elevators, escalators, accessibility services and restroom facilities.
Wayfinding has been reliant on providing an enhanced visitor experience. It has also become the source of significant data analytics about customer interaction with staff, reaction to advertising, indoor and outdoor traffic flow and movement. There is no doubt that Wayfinding when combined with dynamic digital signage can improve the visitor’s on-premise experience and, depending on the type of location, even increase revenue potential.
The question is, are these factors alone enough to cause a large venue to invest millions of dollars in Wayfinding technology or is it possible there are additional services that can be added to the platform software and hardware that might increase the value proposition, increase the number of devices deployed, and possibly even defray or eliminate the cost of a campus or citywide Wayfinding project?
If we consider an augmentation in the reasoning behind the deployment of Wayfinding and related technologies to one of a public safety offering with a core value proposition of having the potential of saving lives, preventing and/or ending a catastrophic event, the use case for large scale deployment becomes much more compelling.
When integrated and deployed with advanced threat detection technologies and first responder resources,Wayfinding could become an essential component to successful prevention and timely intervention by Law Enforcement and First Responders to a violent attack, such as an active-shooter, a bombing or any number of manmade or natural disasters.
Use Case Example: Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH), Sarasota, Florida
Located approximately 50 miles south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast of Florida, SMH is one of the state’s most prestigious medical facilities. The hospital consists of approximately 830 beds, 5,000 staff members and 900 doctors. Centrally located in both the city and county, the SMH campus consists of a centralized 1.5 million square foot main facility spanning 6 city blocks plus two 12-story parking facilities.
Florida’s First Medical Wayfinding Deployment
SMH is the first large-scale community hospital to deploy Wayfinding technology in the State of Florida. Today, SMH has a single Logic Junction Wayfinding kiosk in its central lobby. The primary use for the device is a speaking Avatar to direct visitors to specific departments or patient’s rooms on the campus. The device uses speech recognition and natural text-to-speech technology to interact with visitors. It also uses onboard geomapping to create directions for the on-campus Wayfinding.
Logic Junction has had success in deployment to other hospitals, including Cleveland Clinic where they have 11 devices installed for the same Wayfinding purpose. However, the opportunity to expand its systems usage to include proactive intervention technology does not seem feasible near term. As related by Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s CEO, David Verinder, “The Logic Junction Wayfinder is a nice add to the overall experience for visitors, but will not replace our volunteers that currently assist those in need of direction or signage.”
Today, SMH houses its own fully-equipped police force of about 75 officers and a centralized 911 call center which monitors the main campus 24/7 using traditional CCTV located at entrances, hallways, elevators, stairwells and across the outdoor parking areas, as well as in the twin 12-story parking towers.
The SMH police force uses traditional radio technologies and its 911 call center is directly linked to both the Sarasota City and County Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and EMS providers capable of deploying SWAT, explosive disposal teams and uniformed law enforcement officers. However, the anticipated ETA of these special operations groups is a minimum of 10 minutes on average.
Thinking Beyond the Traditional Use of Wayfinding
Imagine a use case where we reverse the everyday purpose of these devices so they become tools that are a part of a technology ecosystem to ensure safety and security during catastrophic events. Today, Wayfinding is basically a one way solution that has been deployed to help visitors find a destination in a labyrinth of hallways, buildings and across large campuses and malls in the least amount of time with as little stress as possible.
A more robust solution is to have numerous Wayfinding devices and related technologies deployed effectively at critical positions across a large multilevel environment to act as a synchronized network of intelligent devices, controllable from a centralized location, such as the on-premise 911 call center, thereby capable of leading masses of people to safety in the event of a manmade or natural catastrophe.
If we continue along that line of thought, today we have technology that can be integrated into Wayfinding, digital signage, kiosks, phone systems, paging systems, law enforcement radio and, the on or off campus security control systems that can potentially identify a threat and preempt it by notifying the appropriate authorities and moving the population away from the danger zone.
Wayfinding for Mission Critical Public Safety
Listed below are some of the key enhancements that could be added to the 22 Miles Wayfinding software platform using existing API integration. To begin, assume the 22Miles Wayfinding software appears and functions as it would today. For a good view of how 22Miles functions now, click on the links below:
Each device will be networked to the local campus police department’s 911 call- center at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. That is currently not the case with the Logic Junction Wayfinder. The 22Miles system will be integrated into the SMH CCTV and emergency systems and will be under the control of the SMH Police Department.
One outstanding feature offered by 22Miles is its ability to super-impose augmented reality directional arrows over its mobile and freestanding Wayfinding solutions to lead individuals away from danger in real time using its geo-mapping technology. This will vastly speed the evacuation and save lives once deployed. See example below:
Below, we will describe examples of additional software and hardware that can be integrated into the 22Miles platform to create a combined defensive campus-wide response solution.
Security Technology that could be added to the Wayfinding Platform
Each new Wayfinder can be integrated with active shooter detection software from Shooter Detection Systems (SDS) combined with on-campus indoor and outdoor GPS mapping that identifies the exact location of shots fired and traces precise movement of the shooters based on audible and infrared gun fire technology from SDS. This technology was originally developed by Raytheon and successfully deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan by United States Forces. It is still used today and has saved countless lives in theater. See the following link:
We have spoken with Shooter Detection Systems and they believe the API integration will be relatively easy and they would like to leverage the 22Mile mapping system rather than use their own as mapping is not their core technology focus. They are very open to discussion on the best way to add their technology via API integration to the Wayfinding Solution.
Perimeter Defense Using Wayfinding
One of the keys to the successful use of Wayfinding, kiosk and digital signage to prevent a mass casualty event is identifying the threat well in advance of the perpetrators gaining access to the target area.
Imagine drawing a traditional shooting target, meaning a circle in the middle of the page surrounded by increasingly larger circles. Now assume the center is the hospital, university, shopping mall or event stadium. The correct posture for defending such a location is to stop the threat at the outer most perimeter of the property. Therefore, placing additional devices like digital signage, Wayfinding and kiosks equipped with various types of threat detection technologies at parking and walk-way entrances increases the chances of early detection and crime prevention.
To that end, we will examine other existing technologies which appear that they can be easily integrated into the 22Miles software platform.
First would be visual threat detection software and hardware mounted to any high quality camera for early detection of individuals known to law enforcement as a possible threat via local, state and federal databases or persons exhibiting suspicious or unusual behavior, and possibly even carrying a firearm.
One of the most impressive new technologies in the facial and object recognition is a company called AnyVison™. http://www.anyvision.com The Company is partially owned by Bosch and has developed technology which combines AI technology with visual imaging to produce up to 30 HD live camera feeds per GPU with the capability to connect GPU’s in the cloud forming an extremely large visual observation network to cover each campus location. AnyVision™ is capable of finding even a small piece of a rifle in a huge crowd from a great distance. In a few months, they will be able to pick a pistol or revolver from a crowd of thousands. They also have the ability to identify an object that should not be there, such as the pressure cooker bomb placed on the ground at the Boston Marathon.
AnyVision™ has a super high-speed algorithm that examines every pixel, each frame of video, and looks for weapons and other devices that seem out of the ordinary. Simultaneously, the software examines the facial expressions of the individuals in the area searching for irregular emotional cues and nervous activity, anger and fear. The software alerts the authorities of visual anomalies as they occur, thereby creating an early alert warning of potential danger from crowds or individuals passing by cameras that could be hidden in the Wayfinder, digital signage or kiosk.
Silverside Detectors Inc. This Massachusetts radiation detector pioneer is capable of capturing the presence of small and large amounts of radiation from small backpack-sized sensors to larger screening technology capable of being mounted into trucks and detecting moving cars containing radiation while driving on a freeway at urban speeds. http://www.sside.com
Biometric Identification is considered to be one of the fastest growing segments of the security technology markets. Travel, immigration, financial, retail and healthcare seem to be the early adopters of the technology.
Companies, like Omron Electronics Components LLC, have taken a strong position in the market with some of the highest speeds for human facial recognition, including expression, gender, age, eye gaze and blink measurement. See the link below on Omron Sensor technology.
Explosives and Illicit Drug Compound Detection Technology
One of the most elusive assets required for completion of the newly configured Wayfinding detection and early alert system is the detection of explosive devices and deadly drugs. We are beginning to see numerous companies coming to market with various types of solutions; however, to date, they almost all require a wipe down of items being tested. This is not a viable solution in that we are not trying to create an airport TSA-type solution where we funnel crowds through an entrance way. Additionally, the use of canines is not an option because a dog would die almost instantly if it inhaled a very small amount of a drug like Carfentanil.
In a recent conversation with Florida State Law Enforcement, a new threat has emerged that may outweigh every other scenario we have described in this document. Large-scale production of the drug Carfentanil illegally imported from China has been discovered nationwide with a toxicity level that far exceeds all other narcotic opioids found in recreational or legitimate medical use. An amount equal to a grain of salt is enough to kill a human.
Law Enforcement believes this drug could be intentionally used in a bomb or drone attack to wipe out thousands or even millions of people with a single exposure. See below an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Carfentanil or carfentanyl is an analog of the synthetic opioid analgesic fentanyl.
- A unit of Carfentanil is 100 times as potent as the same amount of fentanyl, 5,000 times as potent as a unit of heroin and 10,000 times as potent as a unit of morphine.
- It is important to note that lethality and potency are not the same. The toxicity of Carfentanil in humans and its ready commercial availability has aroused concerns over its potential use as a weapon of mass destruction by rogue nations and terrorist groups.
- Carfentanil was first synthesized in 1974 by a team of chemists at Janssen Pharmaceutical, which included Paul Janssen.
- It is classified as Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States with a DEA ACSCN of 9743 and a 2016 annual aggregate manufacturing quota of 19 grams (less than 0.7 oz.).
Recently our research found a company near Boston, MA that seems to have the answer to the challenge of detecting both explosives and highly dangerous drug compounds. The company is Excellims.
Excerpts from the Excellims’ Web site:
Security and Forensics
Ion mobility spectrometry has a long and proven history in the security industry as an explosive detector. Its success has come from the fact that it is fast, robust, field able, and simple to operate. With the development of high performance IMS, Excellims has advanced this technology and given it the ability to better quantify samples and discern more completely between compounds of similar structures. These features become especially important when dealing with the latest technological advances in security threats, for instance the emergence of designer drugs whose structures are similar yet constantly changing. High performance IMS with electrospray can also detect nonvolatile compounds, which has never before been possible with ion mobility technology.
Dangerous Drug Detection
The same company also brings to the Wayfinding Solution a detection system that is capable of High throughput screening of dangerous drugs which is especially important in field cases, because samples must often be analyzed on the spot in order for a decision to be made about whether a drug is counterfeit or whether a person or shipment is carrying illegal goods.
A growing threat in the world of illicit drug detection is the popularity of designer drugs, which are purposely formulated to be difficult to detect. For example, drugs known as “bath salts” do not typically show up in urinalysis and are impossible for drug-sniffing dogs to smell. HPIMS has been effective in detecting these compounds, and is able to separate many of them from their chemically similar counterparts.
The limit of detection for HPIMS is somewhat compound dependent but falls in the part per billion to low part per million ranges. Quantification is possible over 2 to 3 orders of magnitude, making this a fast, reliable way to determine the presence and quantify of illegal substances.
Ion mobility spectrometry is best known historically for its use in homeland security. It is fast, robust, and transportable. Airports around the world rely on ion mobility for detection of explosives, most of which are highly ionizable compounds that give a strong response in these types of detectors.
Explosive detection is often done at mobile sites or at a location such as an airport where space is a valuable commodity. The compact size of the GA2100 standalone HPIMS instrument is ideal for this situation. The instrument can be set up on site and loaded with a database of common explosives of interest. Samples are analyzed in under one minute, and the library provides an answer as to whether explosives are present and if so, which ones.
High performance ion mobility spectrometry analyzes samples with a higher resolution than was previously possible with IMS instrumentation. This means that not only can compounds be detected, but also they can be separated from other similar compounds. This could give more insight into what types of compounds are being used for chemical warfare, and could provide more accurate quantification data for detecting compounds at low levels.
Below we have listed other companies working on bomb and drug detection technology. We will continue to examine each offering and method to determine the best prospects for the Wayfinding Solution.
Other key manufacturers of Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) market are: Analogic Corporation, Leidos Holdings Inc., Smiths Detection Inc., American Science and Engineering Inc., L-3 Communication, FLIR Systems Inc., Autoclear LLC, Morpho Detection, OSI Systems Inc. and Nuctech.
Video Technology for Remote Law Enforcement and Medical Support
Combining technologies like those developed by 22 Miles, Olea and Kioware is the future of early detection and protection of large public venues from attack or even natural disasters. We now have the ability through networking these technologies and integrating them into the local Emergency Services Systems to expedite the evacuation of the masses on campus and in buildings in a fashion that limits the exposure to harm.
Simultaneously, we can speed up the identification of the exact location of the incident to ensure the fastest possible response by law enforcement and first responder medical and fire personnel.
The addition of video technology for essential two-way communication during an immediately after the event can be delivered by Kioware Software, which has added the feature to its core software security platform.
Kioware also provides security protection from Internet and local hands-on hacking unauthorized access to the Wayfinding, kiosk and digital signage. These assets will be critical in law enforcement assessing the threat before entering the facilities and even more so in connecting first responders with trained medical personal for direction on how to stabilize the wounded prior to extraction. Companies like American Well and VitelNet would be logical strategic partners in this regard.
American Well the leader in remote medical support and physician resource applications
VitelNet the leader in first responder remote emergency solutions
The end point Wayfinding Solution unit will include green and red external lighting and a flashing screen to indicate the safe route for emergency exiting and speakers for announcements from the local 911 call center. The devices should be viewed as both a networked two way communication solution as well as a critical asset for instant delivery of medical trauma supplies and other resources, which can be stored within the Wayfinding device. Examples would be “Stop the Bleed” trauma kits and approved Automated External Defibrillators as well as other first aid and security supplies. Access to the contents of the Wayfinding Solution devices will be limited to staff and/or will be remotely unlockable by the 911 call center.
The next challenge is to explore the feasibility of cost coverage through federal and state grants, and investigate reduced cost of facility liability insurance. It may very well be the insurance providers are willing to reward the owners of large public venues for putting in place these systems and technologies that have the potential to save human life and reduce costly post-event legal actions. Eventually, it would make sense to consider lobbying for state and federal legislation for the requirement of these technologies to be implemented in all public venues where there is a reasonable threat for a mass casualty attack. The simple analogy here would be the requirement of seatbelts and airbags by the automotive industry. Under that example, the insurance companies greatly benefitted from the requirement of these safety technologies.
It is apparent that combining technologies like those developed by 22 Miles, Olea and Kioware is the future of early-detection and protection of large public venues from attack or even natural disasters. We now have the ability through networking these technologies and integrating them into the local Emergency Services Systems to expedite the evacuation of the masses on campus in a fashion that limits the exposure to harm.
Additionally, we can speed up the identification of the exact location of the incident to ensure the fastest possible response by law enforcement and first responder medical and fire personnel.
We suggest that a timeline be established by 22Miles, Olea, Kioware and one or two other primary stakeholders to develop two beta version wayfinding kiosks for demonstration at the National Retail Federation Convention in January 2019 in New York City. The beta would not have to include all the assets described above but would be able to demonstrate the potential of the Wayfinding technology for mission critical public safety.
It’s important to note that while these systems work in an educational or any large congregated audience, that Detection Systems in general apply across all industries and in varied function. Whether it is fraud detection in retail or traveler credentials in transportation (CLEAR e.g.), automated detection and scanning is moving from objects to people.
Excerpt from NRF Stores article this month:
Merchandise returns cost retailers in the United States more than $350 million in sales last year, including up to $22.8 billion attributed directly to fraudulent returns and abuse, estimates data analytics firm Appriss.
“Fraud is such a big number in retail, one that largely goes unchecked,” says Peter Trepp, CEO of FaceFirst, a software firm that provides a security face recognition platform for use in industries including retail, air transportation, casinos, sports and event venues. The company recently unveiled Fraud-IQ, which it calls the first facial recognition product built specifically for use against retail return fraud.
“It’s hard to find tools to combat fraud,” Trepp says. “Part of this is because criminals have become so sophisticated. We think [facial recognition] is a contribution to battle this.”
The new Fraud-IQ works in two ways to assist retailers. “First, it can identify people entering the store without a package and then showing up at the return counter with goods to return,” Trepp says, “and the second works against repeat offenders.”
More Emergency Kiosk Links
For further information contact:
Michael Dorety & Associates, Inc.
5922 Palmer Blvd.
Sarasota, Florida 34232
941 928 8615
Craig Allen Keefner
Olea Kiosks and Kiosk Manufacturer Association
Eastlake, CO 80614
720 324 1837
Michael Dorety spent 30 years in the voice, data and video communications industry. In 2003 he founded Michael Dorety and Associates, Inc to develop strategic partnerships between international companies such as Microsoft, Xerox, Kioware, Avaya, Vidyo and Motorola’s Law Enforcement Division.
|Craig is manager for Olea Kiosks and also manager of Kiosk Manufacturer Association. He has 25 years of experience in the industry. He contributed to this article.|