An iHLS Startup: Reviving Maps for Safe Cities

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In recent years, we’ve been witnessing more and more security officials that have been trying to find more efficient methods to map the field, in order to conduct their command & control activities in a more precise manner. Security agencies, as well as police forces and security firms who operate in large events, have re-invented themselves since the era of maps, and even walkie-talkies or the need for the commander to physically be present at the scene seem like a distant memory. New ways to image areas, especially urban ones, have emerged, such as reports from apps alerting heavy traffic, city Facebook pages and other media reports. The new challenge is the unimaginable quantity of data out there that’s hard to bring together and reap the maximal benefit.

Startup company P-Pulse, established by Hagit Timor and Tal Wayn, and taking part in the iHLS Security Accelerator, solves this challenge with an innovative software solution.

“The idea is to bring all of the information resources we have today that we did not have in the past. Operators in Command & Control rooms do not need to look at multiple screens at the same time and try to reach conclusions – we’ve made situational awareness easier to view, analyze and react quicker“, said Ms. Timor.

The data is displayed so that several layers are presented over the unified map. You can see real-time traffic, planes in the air and live video of some areas is also available. The live video feature enables live stitching and fully-automatic real time overlay of video streams (from drone, satellite or UAV footage) overtop the map or satellite view, as an integral layer on the live map. This unique video capability will enable multiple courses of action at use case scenarios such as border control and identification of objects and the ability to evaluate individuals’ intentions in large events. In addition to these options, live video integration will also enable the person monitoring the city to understand what’s happening in real time to a much fuller extent.

safe cities

This holistic approach that wants to use and apply all the knowledge that is available, makes sense when taking into account the entrepreneurs’ initial goals: “We wanted to create a software solution that would enable first responders to really get a full big picture. At that point we understood the extent of unused information and data that’s not being used because there was no option to integrate all the data sources and get operational insights,” said Ms. Timor.

Apart from the point of view of the commander, P-Pulse is also targeting Smart Cities to strengthen the relationship between residents and their city. “We want to bring the city and the people closer together. People will now be able to see and understand what’s going on live in their city, and share information in real time more easily with their friends” added Ms. Timor. Similarly, the P-Pulse solution will enable better decision making for army commanders and first responder agencies – not only in the sense of the availability of fuller data but also the earlier understanding and identification of possible threats that may appear on the map and foresee possible challenges ahead of time.

The company has been busy working hard. In the near future, P-Pulse is due to take part in a pilot in which it will analyze and map San Diego, the eighth largest city in the US by population. In addition, the company is in touch with many mayors and municipalities as well as security agencies that understand that this is the next step towards harnessing all the available information and making faster and better decisions. The company is also taking part in Bar Ilan University’s forum that brings together municipalities, research institutes from the university and projects in the Smart City domain.

The company’s technological destination is reaching a level that a whole city is filmed live, so there’s an optimal picture and understanding of every scene all the time. This sort of development will be effective especially while managing emergencies and mass sport or music events.

Despite the high intensity of current action, the company also has clear targets for the future: “We want to have a successful pilot in San Diego. After that, we want to contact 25 of the 250 cities in the US which have a population of 100,000-300,000 citizens and start a Beta plan with them,” said Timor. If all goes according to plan, the company hopes to reach the market at the beginning of Q2 2018.

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