Communication capabilities have changed with the proliferation of next-generation IP-based technologies. Cisco® IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS) is designed to integrate traditional dispatch systems with these new technologies, making it easier to dispatch responders and provide them with the information that improves situational awareness. When time is critical, Cisco IPICS helps deliver information to the right people, at the right time, in the right format. The Cisco IPICS Mobile Client is a new component of the Cisco IPICS solution that helps smart devices join a response network enabled for Cisco IPICS.
Features and Benefits
Mobile clients are an important part of incident response because incidents can occur anywhere and anytime. Responders never know where they will be when an incident requiring their support occurs. Until recently, two-way radios were the most available means of communication. However, they are limited mainly to audio, and they are limited by technology and audio reception. They are also expensive and usually carried by only a small subset of on-duty responders.
But the mobile smartphone with IP connectivity and multimedia capabilities is widely available and less expensive, and it can receive signals worldwide. Used effectively, the smartphone can be an effective complement to conventional radios, especially when responders are not carrying radios or when situations require real-time videos, images, and current responder status to better assess an incident. Cisco introduces the Cisco IPICS Mobile Client to address this opportunity.
The Cisco IPICS Mobile Client is a smartphone application that allows responders to interact with other incident participants. Incidents can be within a single agency or between multiple agencies. With this application, responders can perform a variety of incident-related activities. They can:
● Access incident-related push-to-talk (PTT) channels to communicate with other responders and with radio users
● Obtain up-to-date incident status information from each responder
● Access incident-related video clips, photographs, and status information either pushed to them from the dispatcher or added by other responders
● Dynamically add their own video clips, photographs, and status updates
The Cisco IPICS Mobile Client used in conjunction with the Cisco IPICS Dispatch Console provides an on-demand solution for physical security and emergency first responders on the go. It helps them begin reviewing incident information and addressing an incident even while on their way to the scene. They are no longer tied to desktop computers, heavy laptops, or ultra-high-frequency (UHF) and very high-frequency (VHF) radios. See Figure 1.
Used in conjunction with the Cisco IPICS Dispatch Console, the Cisco IPICS Mobile Client enables multimedia collaboration between responders including real-time information sharing that includes the following media:
● Live video sent from surveillance cameras, access control gateways, and mobile clients
● Access to archived videos such as Flip™ and YouTube videos
● Alarm monitoring information
● Journals and live statuses
● Website links to resources such as U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and hazardous material databases, standard operating procedures, and maps
The Cisco IPICS Mobile Client provides enhanced situational awareness. Benefits include:
● Mobility: The Cisco IPICS Mobile Client, based on smartphone technology, moves with the user anywhere there is a wireless network, such as a Wi-Fi or 3G cellular network.
● Radio interoperability and beyond: The Cisco IPICS Mobile Client allows PTT interoperability with radio channels and talk groups.
● Multimedia: The Cisco IPICS Mobile Client moves beyond audio to support multimedia and a new generation of mobile endpoints.
● Open standards compatibility: Built as a smartphone application, the Cisco IPICS Mobile Client will transfer to new devices as replacement technology is introduced.
Table 1 summarizes the Cisco IPICS Mobile Client system capabilities.
Table 1. Cisco IPICS Mobile Client System Capabilities
The Cisco IPICS Mobile Client works in conjunction with a Cisco IPICS solution installation and an add-on Cisco IPICS Mobile Client license. When a Cisco IPICS Mobile Client user first activates the client and logs into the Cisco IPICS server, a license check is performed to confirm that a Cisco IPICS Mobile Client license is available. One Cisco IPICS Mobile Client license is required for each active Cisco IPICS Mobile Client. With this approach, the Cisco IPICS Mobile Client can be installed on as many individual user smartphones as needed, and the licensing is based on only the number of simultaneously active Cisco IPICS Mobile Clients.
The IPICS Mobile Client requires an Apple iPhone 4/4S, 5/5S, iPad, and iPhone service from a certified service provider.
Note: Both the iPhone 4/4S and 5/5S can view incident media, add photos, and communicate on the Incident PTT channel. The iPhone 4/4S and 5/5S additionally support video uploading.
The Cisco IPICS Mobile Client is available for download free of charge from the Apple App Store. Visit the Apple iPhone website at http://www.apple.com/iphone/apps-for-iphone/. The application’s name is “Incident.”
This application also requires a Cisco IPICS installation as well as one or more Cisco IPICS Mobile Client licenses on the Cisco IPICS server: one license for each active Cisco IPICS Mobile Client. The Cisco IPICS solution and Mobile Client licenses are available only directly from Cisco Advanced Services or through selected technology partners. To place an order, use the information in Table 2 when you visit the Cisco Ordering homepage or contact your Cisco account manager.
Table 2. Cisco Ordering Information
For More Information
For more information about the Cisco IPICS solution and the Cisco IPICS Mobile Client, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/ipics or contact your local account representative.