WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In recognition for creating a virtual campus safety app to help students travel safely at night, University of Maryland at College Park computer science professor Dr. Ashok Agrawala was honored by The Wireless Foundation and CTIA-The Wireless Association® with a VITA™ Wireless Samaritan Award at the 18th Annual Achievement Awards dinner July 23.
Created by Dr. Agrawala, the "Escort-M" app provides audio, video and location information from a University of Maryland user's wireless device to public safety personnel so that in an emergency, dispatchers will know the individual's real-time location, audio and video to ascertain the situation. Employees at the university's Security Operations Center, which already monitors the campus' surveillance cameras, will monitor Escort-M feeds this fall from students requesting a virtual escort.
"By recognizing the ubiquity of wireless devices on campus, Dr. Agrawala's Escort-M app is an innovative use of mobile technology that is, at its core, a public safety tool. I'm pleased to present Dr. Agrawala with a VITA Wireless Samaritan Award for creating this app," said Steve Largent, President of The Wireless Foundation and President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association.
The Wireless Foundation and CTIA-The Wireless Association selected Dr. Agrawala and eight other VITA Wireless Samaritan Award recipients from across the nation for their use of wireless technology to save lives, stop crime and help in other emergency situations. VITA Wireless Samaritan Awards are presented annually to recipients who put safety first and use wireless to help others in need. With more than 400,000 wireless phone calls made to 911 every day, the awards also reinforce the crucial role wireless technology plays in emergencies.
CTIA-The Wireless Foundation (www.wirelessfoundation.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to developing and supporting initiatives that use wireless technology to help American communities. The Foundation's innovative programs benefit consumers in areas such as education, healthcare, safety and the environment. As part of its Annual Achievement Awards, the Foundation recognizes VITA™ Wireless Samaritans and honors the best of our nation's leadership, its youth and its scholars. The Foundation was formed by CTIA-The Wireless Association® member companies in 1991.