January 31, 2005
DropFire Announces BLAZE Software Solution for Law Enforcement
DropFire's BLAZE software solution consists of three components:
1. The first component is image transmission technology. This capability allows rich images - mug shots, incident reports, and crime scene photos - to be accessed or filed instantly. The advantage of wireless communication is that it eliminates the current practice of bringing small digital media cards back to headquarters to file and view, and allows suspects to be identified when they are in view, rather than from a loose description. This technology sits on any handheld device - Windows CE-based, PalmSource-based, Blackberry or phone (see figure 1).
2. The second component is the image database search capability. Current mobile information access systems are tied into state-wide and federal databases of criminal history. Local jurisdictions have been banding together independently to provide each other with more information, but this information is not typically matched to the broader, less complete information sources. DropFire ties these two sources together by applying a search layer that sits above both local and non-local databases, and can pull data from both to provide a complete criminal record or incident report. Figure 2 provides a conceptual layout for how BLAZE interacts with other technology in place at the agency.
3. The third component is device recognition. The thumbnailing engine in BLAZE identifies the device and tailors the detail of the image based on the device requesting the image and the speed of the network the image will travel over. BLAZE server also contains search filters that give field officers meaningful subsets of data to work with depending on the device they are using ?I more detail on a laptop, key data only on PDAs - without having to specify what device they are using. Components of the BLAZE Suite
To apply these components DropFire has created the BLAZE suite of products, which when used together maximize the image send and retrieval capability of a handheld device. Included in BLAZE 1.1 (currently in deployment) are:
1. BLAZE server. The server-side component to Blaze is the brain of the BLAZE system - it authenticates access from a PDA, and it extracts data from any combination of databases to process and provide an answer to the requesting mobile unit.
2. BLAZE access. The client functions primarily to enable the wireless transmission of images. It can be visible as an independent application, or appear as a link from another handheld application, such as PSG's PocketCop or Aether Systems' PacketCluster.
Other products currently in beta testing are also part of the BLAZE suite. They include:
3. BLAZE alerts. BLAZE alerts allows mobile officers to receive instant notification of Amber Alerts, APBs, and missing persons reports. Using the BLAZE server, these alerts will contain both information and photos/mug shots. Officers on the beat will have instant access to this information, reducing the time it takes to find missing children, or apprehending a known suspect
4. BLAZE video. With the threat of terror building, and the need to identify movement as important as direct facial identification, DropFire has begun to test wireless video transmission over CDMA and Wi-Fi networks. Using networked cameras, officers can remain hidden from view while monitoring a site, and not have to use wires to connect to the camera.
For more information on DropFire's BLAZE Software Suite, please visit www.dropfire.com.