Digital Paging Over Public Television – Device Solutions

Digital Paging Over Public Television – Device Solutions

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Our first speaker today is Tony Sammarco from Device Solutions speaking to emergency digital paging, Tony. Well, thank you and thanks, Dusty for the introduction. My name's Tony Sammarco, and I'm the director of Technology Strategy with device solutions.

And I've been with device solutions for over 6 years and have 20 years of experience in the wireless communications community. My background is software and systems engineering. And Device solutions is a small engineering solutions company with 18 years of operation and we'll talk a little bit more about Device solutions later and we are thrilled to be invited to the first responder showcase to inform you about our phase two contract for emergency digital paging over ATSC three, ATSC 3 NexGen TV is the latest digital broadcast standard being rolled out of Republic TV broadcasters and private broadcasters in support of higher resolution, more secure data casting services. Our goal is to provide improved. Situational awareness and reliable redundant communications via ATSC 3.

Emergency digital paging. OK, we interviewed over 100 firefighters and medical responders, emergency equipment manufacturers and state emergency services IT departments to really focus on what needs to be addressed with the new paging technology. Today's existing emergency paging technology limits situational awareness for emergency responders. For emergency responders.

And our unreliable and don't support secure data, fire and EMS services must be assured that critical, secure information will be delivered reliably to the responders anywhere in the field. An example of poor coverage with no alternate data path is what our cofounder, President Bob Witter, was an emergency responder for a rural orange Grove fire, Orange Grove fire company here in North Carolina today. He's the vice president on their board of directors.

He was the first to arrive to a call to assist an elderly woman who had fallen at her home. He entered the house and called out but never found her or anyone in the house outside. He saw his colleagues next door. He was in the wrong house as the initial page had the incorrect address and he did not receive the update situation could have been more dangerous, but luckily no one was home. It's not viable to rely on commercial cellular services for mission critical communications and industry best practices.

Downtimes during hurricane tornadoes and weather events impact Commercial Services that can lead the system outages to way radios. Can also be very expensive. Most fire departments can't afford. They are dependent on more affordable paging devices at a lower cost. In rural fire departments, sometimes only the officers carry two way radios, so responders rely on their pagers and by depending only on today's pagers, safety can be compromised due to reduced situational awareness. So who benefits? So state and county emergency services organizations that rely on real time emergency notifications.

Any organization that needs a reliable primary or backup emergency paging system, including multiple federal organizations and hospitals, those needing to update non real time digital data such as distance based learning applications, updates to training manuals, updates to device firmware configuration and we are seeing the needs expanded well beyond emergency paging and others broadcasters, users, distance based learning and we're eager to explore those channels, but that can be served by this technology as well. So today's technology is primarily analog, VHS, analog, pager based and there are certainly coverage issues and non secure data paths and minimal interoperability to neighboring and statewide systems which are essential during large scale emergency events. The CAD E 911 call centers the dispatch centers that begin the paging distribution are largely non standardized and unique for each vendor installation, which is made interoperability a challenge and normalization from multiple vendors is also an enormous challenge. They're doing exist, emerging cellular data based cell phone based application systems.

But those systems also face issues of coverage, reliability and latency. These private systems do not contribute to an improved rating for fire departments, which impact public insurance rates as they're not controlled by a government partner. In other words, commercial, cellular or commercial paging services are not approved by organizations such as the National Fire Protection Agency, the NFPA and Insurance Services Office ISO, who provide guidance on communication systems. For this region, for this reason, each agency is likely to purchase or release paging infrastructure and equipment to serve their response district.

And multiple transmitters would be needed to serve larger areas or regional systems. This is typically done in coordination with the 911 centers as the information originates there then is sent out to the responders. So referring to the needs that we discovered in our 100 plus interviews we boiled, we boiled down to the to the following critical customer requirements that it must be reliable and redundant. Data path is essential that the latency must be less than 10 seconds. That coverage should be 100% within building penetration and that the data must be secure. There must be regional statewide interoperability and there must be a quick, easy way to receive to previously to review previously received messages.

It should be possible to associate location via GPS services and deliver a video and audio streams and up-to-date real time delivery of digital images and pre plans rather than relying on. Sometimes outdated hard copies and binders. So let's take a look at the solution. So an emergency page comes into an E911 call center and we've developed a normalization server which normalizes the CAD data from multiple E1 E911 call center vendors that sends the data through APIs to an ATSC transporting coder. Note that we're also working with ATSC and list on standardization strategy.

At the transport encoder, the data is encrypted to secure the data. Encrypted data that goes to the broadcaster's public broadcasters have proven to be extremely reliable during emergency events. We have prototypes and are testing this year.

Are two fold. First a traditional pager which you see down here on the right hand side. With the additional benefit of a display for viewing the secure data for improved situational awareness. In addition. We're adding a second low-cost ATSC 3 receiver only product with a Bluetooth interface to a smartphone to provide data to existing smartphone applications or the device Solutions companion iOS or Android application.

Both solutions provide better situational awareness and a more reliable, secure data path at a comparable cost of today's two way radios. In addition, with the ongoing push to reduce voice traffic, especially during mass casualty events, this provides a method to get additional data delivered without impacting 2 way radio traffic. So from a high level, we can categorize specifications and features into four main categories, 1 being improved coverage. So our test partner PBS North Carolina broadcast has proven to be extremely reliable, and PBS North Carolina has nearly 100% footprint in the state of North Carolina.

AT&T also provides a redundant data path and likely improves insurance rates, latency, latency reduction from the time the emergency page leaves the dispatch center to the time it's received by the pager. To be under 10 seconds, secure data secure encrypted data increases situational awareness by providing additional critical data and the ability to quickly and easily review the data. And means of providing regional and statewide interoperability, some neighboring communities have coordinated this, but it is an expensive and difficult process, depending on what technology they've deployed. So we'll look at the let's compare the the existing options, the ATSC 3 paging option that we're providing the analog voice paging in the cellular paging.

So on a coverage perspective. As we just discussed, the ATSC 3 paging provides great coverage with the existing infrastructure for broadcast TV. The analog voice paging.

We have it colored as yellow as there can be spotty geographic coverage based on the deployment of the proprietary system and the cellular is bound by the constraints of the deployment of the cellular network. And in addition, the cellular is not recognized as a viable path for improving the department ISO ratings. And they can also be subject to outages on the latency component.

I'll start by saying the analog voice paging can generally be around 40 seconds. The cellular paging a little better around 30, but for us on the ATSC 3 paging side, we're looking at under 10 seconds for latency on the secure data path, etc. Does provide the ability to secure the data, while the analog voice paging does not, and the similar site does provide cellular based secure data transmission. Which statewide interoperability the pages can be routed over a greater geographic area and not suffer from the coordination that is required for reaching multiple paging areas with the analog voice paging system and the cellular system? The current state of our development, where our project is right now is we've completed the initial prototype design and assembly of both the ATSC 3 pager designs that we discussed, the traditional standalone handheld pager with the display and the second receiver that interfaces to the Device solutions companion Android and iOS smartphone applications. We validated the pager operation in a lab environment using a simulated ATSC three ATSC three monitor, and in a lab at PBS, North Carolina, and we've successfully received pages displayed and the transmitted messages on our standalone pager.

So that's exciting. And although component supply chain issues have been an ongoing global problem, we've successfully procured the components for the initial prototype builds and for a second spin to build later this year. Testing with PBS, North Carolina has begun and we will shortly begin live field testing in North Carolina. In the third quarter and we will also include a number of local fire companies that support that testing. Product commercialization is expected in mid 2023. So a little more about device solutions.

We're cofounded in 2003 by Bob Witter and Chris Land were located in Morrisville, NC by Research Triangle Park. We provide product development services and IoT products and our product is Branded Cellio. Our core expertise is an embedded hardware and software design of wireless devices across multiple markets including medical and consumer.

We provide wireless radio integration and antenna design for 4G, 5G cellular, LPWAN, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, all wireless technologies, and we assist companies needing global certification support. In troubleshooting pre screening etcetera, we have a long standing relationship with mechanical engineering, manufacturing and data hosting firms that allow us to deliver full end to end solutions or provide just the parts that are customers need. So as we move into early testing, we're gathering feedback on the device usability and the performance based on the prototype unit testing and we hope to get a lot of feedback based on our field testing from the EMTs and the user community and also from folks in the audience listening to this presentation today on other application opportunities beyond emergency paging that can benefit from this technology. So we look forward to hearing from you and are happy to arrange follow-up dialogue.

Here's our contact information. And we're happy to entertain any questions. Alright. Thank you very much, Tony. Alright, if you guys have any questions for Tony, please type them into the Q&A box and we'll. Give him a chance to respond. Wanna come back on camera, Tony? OK.

I'm seeing a published question. Chris, do you see that? Thank you. Here we go. All right. So our first question is, well, it looks like you're sharing a screen, Tony. Could you go back to your last slide, your contact slide? People might write that down. Thank you. Perfect. Alright.

So the first question is in your testing with PBS and North Carolina, what have you seen with respect to reduced latency time? And do you think you'll be able to get to sub 10 seconds? OK. Yeah, that's a great question. So the early testing that we've done in PBS, North Carolina shows really promising results from the.

Right now, we don't have the the messages coming from the CADS into our paging server to do the normalization. But what we do is we inject the pages at that point. And from that point where we take the message into the paging server and then feed it into the encoder and then broadcast it over the PBS ATSC three broadcast.

And the page you're receiving the messages is sub 5 seconds, so that's really good. Now even when you introduce the additional time needed for the communication to the CAD E 911 centers to do that normalization, we've seen that, that's around 2 seconds. So we're very confident that we're going to make the sub 10 second latency. Alright, excellent. Great news, alright.

So if anyone else has any questions, please type them into the Q&A box. The Q&A box is icon. It should be near the top. It looks like 2 little bubbles with question mark in it.

The chat is disabled so please use the Q&A. And I'll put the email address for folks into the chat again. So if for some reason you're not seeing those bubbles, you can send it to our email address and we'll get that bounced over. So somebody's raising their hand. If you want to. If you're not able

to post a question in the chat, please email Again, we will not be able to unmute you. So if you have a question or comment, we would love to hear it and please email. We're also happy to take questions if you want to email us directly as on the contact us slide. We've got some coming in. We're getting them. Alright.

Next question 20 is are you all offering any internships or assistance to help people in need? Yes, we are and we'll be happy to take those requests at email. Chris Lamb. Our CEO for that. Alright, thank you. Next question is what is the anticipated or projected cost per unit? Comparable to this.

I'll let our President Bob Woodward, answer that question. Yeah, we expect our cost to be comparable to existing analog pages that are out there today. And as we get into some, some integration and some module development, we expect the cost to fall even more. Alright, great. Thank you.

Next question then is have you done any measurements on signal strength inside of buildings and will the pagers indicate when they are not receiving the signal? So we will have an indication of the quality, the signal quality we're at, we've done some simulations with our partner, WRCNC, on the antenna design to give us a decent penetration in building that testing that where we do more live testing within building penetration will be starting up within the next few months. Alright, great. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah, I will. I will add on that.

The ATSC three does allow for some very robust coding of the different PLPs. So it will allow us to dynamically change both the modulation and the coding rate to increase penetration for those difficult areas. So that's part of what we will be tuning around, doing a live testing. Alright, fantastic. Next question is how is this monetized? I'll let our President, Bob, we would take that one. Differ from device solutions perspective.

We are actually looking to license the technology to manufacturers who want to develop the product. And we also working with the state of North Carolina right now on the system for the state of North Carolina. Alright, thank you. Next question then is how do you get to local TV station on board to support this service? So what we found in our interviews is that part of the public broadcast systems, they're part of their goal is to assist in emergency services, and then that is built in to be one what their mandate is and the discussions have been very easy with the public television folks to get them on board with the technology. Plus it provides it. It takes just a very, very small amount of data that they have available on their broadcast channels.

So it meets their mandate beautifully from a from a from a goals perspective, and even private broadcasters are looking to adopt the technology to provide these kind of emergency services to local communities. So that component has not been a difficult hurdle. We've talked to the PBS systems in many States and they've been very much on board. A lot of this original technology came from some ideas. Championed by the PBS community and even the big broadcasters such as Sinclair have been very interested in supporting this going forward.

Alright, fantastic. So I think this will be our last question based on time. Uh, the question is what is the maximum data rate you can realize with this system? Will the ATSC 3 channel is highly configurable. I think the maximum is about 56 megabits uh. We're just caught carving off a small portion of that roughly a megabit, give or take, but it could be configured lots of different ways, so you could even fire up additional channels, so to speak, for dedicated video streams or audio streams.

There's just a lot of flexibility that can be done, and it can even be done on the fly by adapting the quality of the other broadcast signals. In the case of a mass casualty or other large event. All right, great. Thank you very much, Tony and Bob, we didn't get to your questions. We'll pass them along to Tony, Bob and they can follow up with you or please reach out to them directly on their contact information on this slide.

2022-07-13 23:20

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