Las Vegas in August is incredibly hot, but that didn’t stop thousands of dedicated public safety professionals from attending the 84th Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Conference. From the 270+ vendor displays to the 100+ educational sessions, this was an impressive event and definitely the place to be for those involved in public safety communications. Samsung was a primary exhibitor at this year’s conference and it was a great experience for all of us, providing the opportunity to meet with dozens of practitioners from all over North America and even as far as Guam.
DeX — the Mobile Desktop Experience
We had a Samsung DeX demonstration at our booth that proved very popular with the dozens of attendees who stopped by. DeX is short for Desktop Experience, and it combines the power of a Galaxy smartphone with off-the-shelf peripherals to provide a full-featured computing experience. Originally intended to replicate a desktop computer for highly mobile business professionals, DeX is now proving its ability to serve as an in-vehicle computer for public safety.
Using DeX in a patrol vehicle permits an officer to use a single device — their smartphone — for query and geolocation services whether in or out of the vehicle. Once at the station, the same device can be paired with a standard display and keyboard to provide in-station computing within the secure environment of an agency’s network. In short, DeX makes it possible for a single device to support in-vehicle, in-field and in-station operations while also providing the sheer utility of a smartphone.
The DeX setup we had on display at APCO used Havis mounting hardware combined with an off-the-shelf touchscreen display and keyboard. Additional mounting options are available from Gamber-Johnson, RAM Mounts and others. DeX does not require specific peripherals and provides a standard HDMI output, allowing customers a full range of options in terms of the hardware they choose. Time after time, we could see the light come on as APCO attendees embraced this new paradigm and realized the potential for operational efficiency and significant cost savings.
There was also a great deal of engagement and interest around our wearables and the role they can play in public safety. The new Samsung Gear S3 is available with built-in LTE, allowing it to operate without the support of a smartphone and provide geolocation services, messaging, voice communications, SOS alerting and discrete haptic feedback.
One of the great use cases we heard came from a large agency in the south that regularly handles major events where the noise level is so high that traditional radio communications are almost impossible. The agency shared that the Samsung wearables had proved invaluable because they can display short messages and provide detailed pictures of a wanted suspect or missing person. With a glance at the wrist, an officer can take full advantage of the fact that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And, because the wearables provide real-time geolocation, scene commanders have a much-improved level of situational awareness, especially when an officer needs immediate assistance. These are the types of stories that we love to hear and it’s this type of interaction with our customers that continually drives our product development.
Applications for Smartphones and Wearables
The APCO Conference also allowed us to share some of the great work being done by our trusted partners, much of which centers around computer aided dispatch (CAD) functionality on Samsung devices. Caliber Public Safety, TriTech Software Systems and Tyler Technologies have all made great strides in developing CAD software that maximizes the utility of a wearable, an area that is emerging rapidly and will benefit first responders around the country. Those companies, as well as Motorola Solutions and Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure (Intergraph), are expanding their already capable CAD offerings to provide full functionality on smartphones.
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Niche RMS has also worked with Mobile Innovations to create a powerful Android version of their records management system, and SceneDoc has an impressive product that allows officers to collect notes, issue citations and complete reports using their smartphones. With SceneDoc, an officer can use the smartphone’s built-in camera to scan the barcode on a driver’s license and populate information fields automatically. This improves data accuracy and cuts down on the time it takes to issue a citation. Blueforce Development is now offering software that uses smartphones and wearables to provide advanced command and control capabilities that can prove crucial in evolving tactical situations.
Many of the software providers who were at APCO came by our booth to show work-in-progress demos of their solutions functioning on our smartphones and even providing seamless integration with DeX. The fact that the leading public safety software companies are putting a priority on developing products that work with Samsung mobile devices is truly exciting. We want public safety decision makers to have choices and encourage them to provide input to their chosen vendor as well as to expectations for operational capabilities using smartphones and wearables.
Public Safety: A Samsung Priority
All of us at Samsung have great respect for first responders and it’s their input that influences our product design. We know that agencies want cost-effective solutions that will enhance and extend their existing capabilities, and we collaboratively work with all public safety vendors to provide a wide range of options. We are committed to delivering solutions that truly make a difference for public safety.
Come See Us at IACP 2018 in Orlando
If you’re planning on attending the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Orlando, please visit us at Booth 1421 so we can show you the latest capabilities of Samsung DeX, as well as our lineup of Galaxy smartphones and our game-changing wearables. The awesome Samsung Mobile Bus will be on the floor of the conference center so if you’re looking for a place to escape the conference noise, come take a tour of the latest public safety technology offerings from Samsung.