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In many terrorist attack events, first responders do not have immediate access to real-time information from the scene, or from victims that are being held hostage. A new smartphone app developed in Australia offers a citizen-centric solution that will enable people to upload videos and other information as a terror attack is unfolding, giving emergency services the best chance to respond and prevent further harm.

The app will be enabled through Microsoft’s new Azure Australia Central cloud.

The app, being developed by the Citadel Group, will enable users to instantly collect data, such as video and audio, which along with telemetry information about the phone’s location can be transmitted to a centraliזed command and control center. Analysts will then be able to use technology to consolidate data from multiple sources, instantly providing real-time intelligence to help authorities provide a rapid response, and provide information through smartphone notifications to people in the affected area.

It is also expected that citizens will be able to help police crowdsource information in events such as car-jackings or child abductions, with the platform used to issue requests for sightings of vehicles with specified number plates, for example, according to theaustralian.com.au.

The app turns a smartphone into an intelligence gathering device. Emergency services can see what people are seeing, hear what people are hearing and understand whether it’s a single incident or co-ordinated attack. The in-built analytics of this platform determines that there are three incidents reported within two km of each other which are atypical and may be a coordinated attack.