While flying out to NENA 2012, I was able to experience on of my favorite pastimes in the air. That was the ability to listen to real-time Air to Ground communications.
"UNITED 703 WE HAVE YOU OUT OF FLIGHT LEVEL 2-4-0 CLIMBING TO 3-1-O. EXPECT 3-6-0 SHORTLY. TRAFFIC IS A COMPANY A-360 AT YOUR 9 O'CLOCK THROUGH 2-4-0 FOR 2-8-0, NOT A FACTOR"
Although many of you are able to pick that apart, the literal translation is something close to:
"United Airlines flight 703, radar contact is established. We show you at 24,000 feet climbing to 31,000 feet and understand that you have requested 36,000 feet for a cruising altitude. We anticipate that clearance momentarily. Please watch out for traffic, which is a United A-360 to your left. This aircraft is currently passing through 24,000 feet and climbing to 28,000 feet. Given your present speed and altitude, this aircraft poses no danger to you."
Obviously, as with many professions, knowing the lingo, and how to efficiently communicate with your peers, is the key to success in almost any industry. With the advent of Next Generation Emergency Services, the speed and efficiency will become even more critical, and the sheer amount of information is destined for a monumental increase in quantity.
In an effort to stay current with evolving technologies and procedures, Public Safety often stages mock disasters and drills. Although resource intensive and costly to run, these weekend drills simulating scores of victims with varying injuries are excellent practice opportunities. The communications requirements for those drills quite often tie up normal communications modalities and paths, and can be detrimental to day to day operations as frequency allocation for Public Safety is limited, and inter-agency communications quite often tie up 'mutual aide frequencies shared by a large area.
Algonquin College saw this looming problem, and decided to look towards technology to provide a solution. AvayaLive™ Engage was utilized to provide a new learning and training environment, which was able to replicate the very complex real world environment without having to commandeer limited production radio frequencies needed to maintain normal day-to-day operations.
What exactly is AvayaLive™ Engage?
Is it a game? Only in that is uses some technologies developed for the gaming environment, like 3D graphic rendering techniques and 'spatial audio' that provides an immersive media rich learning and collaboration environment that can be assessed anytime, anywhere and on any device. In addition to Algonquin College, Carroll University and MIT Sloan are among first adopters of this new innovative advanced 3D technology supporting virtual instruction. In the Algonquin environment, students can take on the roles of Paramedics, Doctors, and Nurses with detailed avatars in full uniform. Additionally, detailed environments including hospitals and crime scenes complete with 'blood splatter' patterns are all supported with incredible detail and levels of interaction.
By virtually working mock disasters, students can learn how to communicate with their peers, in the appropriate lingo, and using the collaborative tools found today, like video, IM and other multi-modal forms. Even specialized vehicles such as ambulances have been virtually replicated to provide that immersive interaction that was only obtainable by real world simulation in the past.
Avaya, a global leader in business collaboration and communications solutions, recently announced that it has been awarded a 2012 Ed-Tech Readers' Choice Award in recognition of this advancement in next-generation online learning technology. Specifically, eSchool Media cited the AvayaLive™ Engage service offering, which enables students to remotely attend, learn and collaborate in media rich virtual 3D classroom and simulation environment.
If you are attending the NENA 2012 Conference in Long Beach, California this week, be sure to stop by the Avaya Booth where we will have several facets of the Avaya Public Safety Solution stack on display, and experts on hand to engage in discussions. I hope you enjoyed my first blog from 34,000 feet, time to wrap up as we descend into LAX.
See you at NENA 2012!
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