AT&T Continues to Drive Innovation for First Responders

Washington, D.C., February 27, 2014

Last month, AT&T1 sponsored two Public Safety accelerator challenges for the 2014 AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon in Las Vegas, NV.  The two-day hackathon was designed for both technical and non-technical attendees to build apps in a fun, competitive atmosphere. Overall, there were more than 500 developers in attendance and over $200,000 in prize money and giveaways.  Of the 111 teams vying to build the best mobile application, 40 teams were inspired to develop public safety solutions. 

AT&T motivated developers by offering a $10,000 cash prize and a ride-a-long with the Las Vegas Sheriff’s Department that could be stacked with any of the 26 other potential prizes.

The winners of the Public Safety Accelerator Challenges were Team ForceNet which developed a wearable application leveraging a smart watch.  This solution allows public safety users to trigger a silent alarm on the watch to request back-up.  The geo-location of the user is transmitted to officers in the area and the watch vibrates to acknowledge back-up is en-route. The ride-a-along winner was Team Spartan First Responder which leveraged iOS 7 and a proximity beacon to provide hyper-location information for first responders in the field.  This application provides highly accurate real time geo-location information along with dispatch information directly from the Computer Aided Dispatch System. 

The success of the event was driven by support from the first responder community.  FirstNet Board Member, Chief Jeff Johnson, kicked-off the lightning talks and spoke about Public Safety to the developer community.  Members of the Nevada public safety community including Ray Flynn, Assistant Sheriff, Retired, Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff’s Office; Michael Barnbeck, Director of Communications, Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff’s Office; and Brent Lee, Lieutenant, Retired, Sparks Police Department, acted as mentors and subject matter experts assisting developers with questions about standard operating procedure for public safety.  Finally, Alex Kreilein from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications/Public Safety Communications Research was on hand to help developers understand the security needs of public safety and to ensure elements of security were included in the various public safety applications.

Due to the success of the event, AT&T is planning four more Public Safety Hackathons in 2014 to be held in Washington, DC; Plano, TX; Atlanta, GA; and Palo Alto, CA. 

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