Behind the Scenes of Lone Working - Part 2
There are three pillars to any platform managing the business of keeping your lone workers safe: monitoring, alerting and communications. Monitoring and alerting by themselves are no good if you don’t have a watertight system for processing the alerts, relaying them to key responders, keeping people up-to-date on an emergency event, and providing the communications channels for them to do their jobs. In this second post of a two-part series on what happens behind the scenes of lone working, we take a look at how Isle Systems takes care of the communications element.
Reliability, Speed, Simplicity
There are two aspects to communications. The first is the talking aspect, spoken conversations between two or more parties. Then there’s the non-verbal communications, involving audio, visual and word-based alerting and messaging. Staying with the non-verbal for the moment, the watchwords are reliability, speed, and simplicity. You want to be 100% sure that alerts, responses and further communications are delivered. You also need them to be delivered as fast as possible. Finally, you need the messaging and communications system to be as easy to use, especially in a crisis when time is of critical importance.
At Isle Systems we address these three responsibilities with our Atlas Critical Messenger product, designed to minimise messaging delay and confusion. It’s intended for use in environments where it’s critical that users and responders receive messages quickly. Atlas CM links with our Aspect monitoring and alerting system, attracting responders’ attention through both visual and audible cues.
When a user or device raises an alarm, Atlas CM automatically jumps to the screen foreground and attracts the responders’ attention with a sound notification. This notification continues until the responder reacts to the alarm, at which point it stops. Atlas CM automatically communicates all actions taken within the alert to all other relevant responders, as well as the user who activated the alarm.
The Atlas CM app has a simple, clean interface. It operates over any data connection, such as GPRS, 3G, 4G/LTE and WiFi, monitoring its own connection every few seconds. In the event of a loss of connection, the app automatically notifies the user.
When it comes to verbal communications, many companies are looking for functionality above simply talking to someone else on the phone, whether it’s smart or not. They’re looking for ‘walkie talkie’ capabilities for one-to-one or one-to-many conversations. This can be in the form of dedicated push-to-talk devices, or equipping smartphone with push-to-talk functionality. This is also called PoC, standing for Push-to-talk Over Cellular.
Isle Systems produces Atlas PTT Smart, providing users with the one-to-many voice features of traditional push-to-talk services, but without the cost of infrastructure or dedicated hardware. Atlas PTT Smart runs as an app on a compatible Android smartphone, either with a data connection (3G, 4G, WiFi) or over a voice call.
This provides those organisations who have a definite need for push-to-talk with a simple way for many people to talk as a group without range or geographic limitations. Up to 16 people can be in a group conversation and the system can support up to 16 different groups.
When a user requires a push-to-talk conference with all other listening parties they select the relevant group from the app and initiate the call. This allows all users to communicate within seconds. Furthermore, if a user finds that their data connection is unreliable or not available, they can automatically join the group talk using a standard mobile phone call.