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Omnilert 2021 Predictions: What 2021 Has in Store for Emergency Prevention and Communications

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

What 2021 Has in Store for Emergency Prevention and Communications

By Dave Fraser, chief executive officer at Omnilert

There is no arguing that 2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years of this generation, but one unfortunate fact of life has remained true -- gun violence continues to be a serious problem in the U.S. The year has seen 600 mass shootings through Dec. 16, up a staggering 44% from the 417 mass shootings in all of 2019.

Political issues aside, it's clear that something needs to be done to help stem this growing problem, and it is becoming increasingly evident that technology will play a significant role. With that backdrop, here are three predictions for emergency prevention and communications in 2021, including the role artificial intelligence (AI) will play, and the potential issues it may present:

New tech will prevent shooting incidents before they start

The coronavirus hasn't stifled gun violence -- despite the fact that many Americans are largely sheltering at home, the total number of gun deaths in 2020 is at 41,000 and counting, surpassing previous years by wide margins. Heading into next year, major advancements in technology that sync with existing surveillance camera systems will see wider adoption among businesses, universities and other organizations. Modern recognition software enables mass notifications to be sent as soon as a gun is visible, providing administrators with advance warning before a shot is fired. Once a firearm is validated, the administrator can inform all relevant stakeholders by initiating pre-defined safety protocols, an extremely valuable capability in situations where every second matters.

AI will make emergency communications more powerful

The use of artificial intelligence has grown across a number of industries, and in 2021 it will make inroads in the emergency mass notification space. AI has the ability to help manage the barrage of information coming in via phone, text, and social media that bombard first responders during an emergency event. It can segment communities based on their responses or other factors, such as their current location, to deliver messages that are contextual and relevant to people based on their specific situation. For example, if there is a potential threat in a specific area of campus, modern emergency mass notification systems can quickly deliver detailed evacuation instructions to those in buildings that are immediately impacted, while alerting those in other locations around campus to stay away from the endangered area until the situation is clear.

Data privacy will become a growing concern with EMNS systems

As modern emergency mass notification systems (EMNS) become more sophisticated, issues revolving around data privacy will become more complex. Notification systems are most effective when members of the community voluntarily share key data such as location. As is the case in any industry, the EMNS players who win on data privacy will be those with transparent policies that closely adhere to relevant regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA.


About the Author

Dave Fraser 

Dave leads strategy and execution at Omnilert. He has been building innovative software products and companies for more than 30 years, with a passion for developing and bringing to market new products and services which have a direct, positive impact on everyday life. At Omnilert, this manifests through our mission to protect people who are at their most vulnerable during times of crisis, through fast, reliable communications and intelligence.

Prior to joining Omnilert, Dave was CEO of wireless pioneer Devicescape (acquired by Pareteum). He previously held a variety of roles including embedded leader Wind River (acquired by Intel), systems startup Convergent Technologies (acquired by Unisys) and Hewlett-Packard.

Published Friday, January 08, 2021 7:27 AM by David Marshall
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