Thursday, April 30, 2015

A beeper-app for your cell phone

Suppose your cell phone has an app that sends out a shrill, recognizable whistle every hour for two seconds or something like that. It could be handy if you ever get caught under a lot of debris from a falling building. You would obviously like to be able to keep it turned off most of the time, but then you have to hope that if you get caught in an earthquake, you are able to reach for your phone and turn the app on!
Or perhaps, the app can be programmed to sense that signals from cell phone towers have stopped coming and turn the beeper-app on.  It would act as a kind of black box for the individual.
As an additional feature, you can make the whistle a frequency-modulated signal carrying your cell phone number or a contact number of someone who is to be contacted. If the rescue team carries a cell phone equipped with the same app, it could decode the signal from the buried phone and display it.
Skiers and hikers could also use this app. In addition to an audible whistle, the app could send text messages that can be picked up by some specialized equipment that rescue teams could carry. The design of such equipment is itself an interesting project; it would have to work in the absence of normal coverage by a cellular network. Can one use microcell equipment for this purpose? It is worth investigating:

The European Commission has co-funded a project for cell-phone assisted rescue work: 

You may also find the following item interesting: 

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