Israel

Homefront Command Picks eVigilo for Emergency Notification System

The Times of Israel reported Thursday that Israel’s Homefront Command has chosen a new system to power its app for its emergency notification system.

David Shamah, the technology reporter for the Times, writes:

After a year-long pilot program, Israel’s Homefront Command selected Israeli firm eVigilo’s SMART Internet to power its new iOref app, which will be ready for download later this summer. Using push message technology that finds users without their having to connect to a service, iOref’s iPhone, Android and Windows mobile apps will deliver alerts and notifications to everyone in Israel using the app, or to users in a specific part of the country.

It’s a kind of personalization of the “Red Alert” loudspeaker system that warns residents of Israel’s south of incoming rockets from Gaza, taking advantage of the fact that Israelis have among the most smartphones per capita in the world.

The iOref app will also “integrate with third party navigation solutions, like Waze, to deliver real-time traffic instructions so users can navigate to the closest safe point, facilitating rescue and evacuation efforts.” As opposed to an SMS system which requires a list of phone numbers, iOref is based “on cell broadcast technology, in which all phones connected to a cellphone network automatically receive the message.” (This appears to be similar to the National Weather Service’s Emergency Alert System.) In addition, there will be an emergency button, similar to the one NowForce made available in the wake of the abductions of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel, so that someone who is in distress can alert authorities of his situation.

The company, eVigilo, was recently in the news when its alert system was credited with saving lives when its system was implemented by Chile after an earthquake in April. A similar earthquake and the resulting tsunami in Chile killed 560 people in 2010; this year only six people were reported killed.

[Photo: eVigilo Ltd. / YouTube ]