TEMPE, Ariz., Oct. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Smartphones have become our primary means of communication and are critical to our daily lives. However, based on their technological capabilities and potential, smartphones are generally underutilized by the greater public. Smartphones are an essential tool that, if allowed to, could work in concert with other technologies as a swarm, in support of the human technicians operating them.
Some of the progress in smartphone technology is impacting the way we as humans interact in a positive way, slowly bringing about societal change as we adapt to these newer, better advancements around us.
But what if we could save someone's life with the simple click of an icon on our smartphone? It isn't a futuristic idea. The technology exists now thanks to the Melbourne, Florida-based company Galileo Group, Inc., an established high-tech company performing advanced-detection services and technology development in a field known as "remote sensing."
Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland. These locations have become shorthand for tragedy, the victims in each dying senselessly at the hands of gunmen unleashing chaos. A new vocabulary has evolved in the U.S. as these terrible events have persisted: "active shooter," "lockdown drill" and "mass casualty event" are familiar phrases to nearly all Americans now.
Nationally, legislators and community leaders have wrestled with how to handle the citizenry's right to own firearms and how to keep them out of the hands of those who would misuse them. And with so much innovation in this country, many firms have tried to be the first to create a technology that law enforcers or other first responders, for example, might be able to use in an active-shooter situation. Panic apps rose out of the need to fill that technological void. But there are a lot of simple panic apps out there – SWARM™ is not one of them; it is a system tool that allows users who opt-in with a means of empowering themselves and first responders with critical data necessary to create a better outcome.
The applications utilized by SWARM™ are timely and relate to a new way to aggregate consumer phone data in a manner that could be used efficiently in real-time scenarios.
Designed to save lives, Galileo's research and development teams haven't limited SWARM™ to stopping mass killers. The technology has a huge potential for other market applications, making it practical, not overly complicated. SWARM™ brings together data to view, manage and act on, in new ways.
Introducing SWARM™ to law enforcement, security firms and select businesses with a keen interest in humanitarian ethics, such as social media companies looking for innovative ways to connect and provide more assistance in the real world, is a primary and urgent goal of Galileo's executive leadership.
Invented by Michael Barnes, a former CIA special operations officer and the founder of Galileo, along with Jim Grichnik, MD, PhD, a Harvard trained physician with a distinguished career in several major academic centers and innovative imaging expertise – particularly in the area of cancer detection, SWARM™ was the byproduct of a larger invention the two teamed up on, combining their expertise to create a system using the one technology already in most human hands – smartphones. The idea was to create a system able to be deployed spontaneously, with strangers coming together during a common crisis. Through SWARM™, those citizens provide critical, real-time intelligence to community leaders navigating their way through various crises.
The key technology connecting people through SWARM™ are Galileo aggregation techniques and algorithms using sensors in the phones to create virtual positional and operational mosaics, with leaders analyzing the data derived from spatial and time-lapse measurements. Providing a deeper, more comprehensive use than the panic apps, SWARM™ integrates the data from these sensors to generate a geo-spatially referenced set of user metrics never before harnessed by technologies developed prior to SWARM™.
Video streams gathered by SWARM™ users add an additional layer to a centralized view, or tablet, encompassing what would be hundreds of discrete smartphone data collectors. The total information is then processed in real time using Artificial Intelligence and other analytical techniques to provide summary information to community leaders working to react to the situation appropriately.
Though SWARM™ is a perfect tool to use to counter mass shooting scenarios, its potential for wider market use is very realistic. It's applicable to even individual-based criminal protection scenarios in active monitoring, tracking and deterrence modalities.
Galileo has a prototype in use with fully patented technology. SWARM™ is also available for live demonstrations. Work continues to explore how far its capabilities can be maximized with an eye toward site testing and situational scaling.
Galileo Group also announced a pending collaborative research partnership with the Center for Human, Artificial Intelligence, and Robot Teaming (CHART) under the Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University. The collaboration involves applying human factors methods and techniques from distributed robotics to perform advanced human–AI–robot interaction studies in order to ensure that the machine technology is easy to use and that the human–machine system is well integrated for effective performance.
"We have watched precious children, friends and families, whose lives have been cut short through senseless mass violence, for too long," says intelligence veteran Barnes. "It's time to empower everyone – at any age – through their smartphone. We hope SWARM™ will motivate people to provide data that contributes to group events with positive outcomes – events that are driven by the collection of situational information that is meaningful. With SWARM™, all the user does is activate the emergency app mode option and the system automatically engages and reports rapidly-changing human dynamics occurring around them to the necessary responders to make decisions and take action."
"Galileo is making deeper use of the sensor technology available on smartphones to provide real-time data critical to fast-breaking situations supported by computational and artificial intelligence driven analytics. Using this information, we now have the capability to act individually and by extension, as a group to help counter threats. Our options are no longer to only hide or be attacked. While moving to safe locations or sheltering in place, people can use the smartphone already in their hand without any distraction from their immediate safety priorities to collectively provide more actionable information to first responders. Through group contributions, SWARM™ is about changing that calculus for the living by saving lives."
Cognizant of privacy factors, Barnes said the data collected in any notional scenario is processed through Galileo's system in order to make use of it for actionable purposes, citing "Privacy and respect for the digital rights of the individual are key. All information is provided on a voluntary opt-in basis by users to responders for situational awareness purposes only. We plan that none of the core data will be sold or shared in any manner to any independent third party."
Having built, patented and funded SWARM™ on its own, Galileo Group is seeking business partnerships for licensing and deployment, while preparing to raise seed capital to accelerate growth for a new software and technical development team near ASU in Tempe, Arizona, in early 2020.
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SOURCE Galileo Group, Inc.