Crime is prevalent. (Especially if you live in Village A.) But, technology is always being used to combat the forces of villainy. That’s why one University of Maryland professor decided to update 9-1-1.
Video 911, a smart-phone application developed by Professor Ashok Agrawala, would allow victims and witnesses of crimes to transmit their location as well as audio and video to a police dispatcher at the touch of a button. If Agrawala can raise $100,000, he believes UMD could launch a pilot program as early as next semester.
“[We've been] begging, borrowing, stealing, getting students to participate as part of their projects and coursework, things like that,” he said to the Diamondback.
While Georgetown’s Department of Public Safety has no plans to launch a similar project, DPS Associate Director Joseph Smith commended UMD’s progress.
“I would like to applaud the University of Maryland for their innovative efforts to improve incident response on their campus,” Smith wrote in an email. “Georgetown DPS strives to be innovative as well, and we are certainly open to measures that we determine will improve the quality of service to the Georgetown community.”
The question begged is the application’s usefulness. Would victims have the time to pull out their phones, let alone navigate their way to an app? Having a button that could silently transmit your position to a dispatcher seems handy, but the sheer number of likely butt-presses and prank uses seems prohibitive. We’ll stick with the good old three-button press ourselves.
Photo: Flickr user “honou“