Smartphone operating systems like Android have built-in location routines that most applications use. The standard routine reduces battery consumption by leaving the GPS hardware turned off as much as possible and instead use a database containing known locations of cell towers and Wi-Fi points to estimate location with uncertainty as great as 500 meters. This method is fast but inaccurate. For safety applications, the best possible accuracy is essential for enterprise and lone workers in need of urgent or emergency assistance.
Some apps can reject poor location data and request a fresh location using a GPS “Cold Start” which can take up to a few minutes to deliver a more accurate GPS location. OnGuard uses a proprietary algorithm called GPS-OG to optimize GPS availability, periodically refreshing aiding data and enabling a GPS “Hot Start” for fast initial location accurate to ~30 meters and quickly improving the location to +/- 3.0 meters, while minimizing battery drain. OnGuard very quickly delivers exceptional location precision under the worst conditions, on any device.
OnGuard is built on a massively scalable real-time database and sync engine to support millions of users on multiple platforms.
Everything is instantly synced between the system and users as their status, location, profile details, or avatar changes. All data sync uses 2048-bit SSL with replication to multiple secure Cloud locations.
Effectively protecting lone workers requires full-time connectivity but many work environments suffer frequent cell signal losses. OnGuard uses a quantitative real-time coverage library that continuously monitors cellular networks for signal level, service outages and more.
This library produces an ever-evolving service map used by the OnGuard app to warn users when they are entering areas of poor connectivity or ‘no service’.
The OnGuard app monitors and records cellular network availability for administrators, monitoring staff and other users located anywhere. Knowing when a user is leaving network coverage or is outside coverage reduces false ERC alerting when users are unable to check in. Dead zone knowledge can be used to negotiate improved coverage conventionally or by small cells with satellite connectivity.
In remote areas, data coverage may be spotty, even when there is voice service. OnGuard can switch to SMS to communicate and deliver alerts even when voice calls are impossible. OnGuard recognizes and records when and where data and voice services become unavailable and can send check-ins, updates, and alerts via Wifi when available or SMS text message.
SMS operates reliably on network control channels even when data is partly corrupted. SMS data transmits at higher power and can be delivered from low signal locations where voice and data services are unavailable.
MOBILE CLIENT MAP VIEW
The OnGuard Mobile Client map view will automatically re-center on worker position when he checks in.
• Adjustable map zoom levels for either street view or satellite view
• Offline Maps
• Real-time alerts, like panic, auto-center each group member’s map to the alerting user
• Map shows co-worker locations
USERS & GROUPS
There may be many users in a company, but only users in the same defined workgroup will be shown.
• Shows last known status and check-in time
• Touching details panel brings up a map showing last known worker position and status
Work Alone settings can be set to run on specific days of the week and specific hours directly from the device.
All settings for any worker handset can be remotely configured, adjusted or locked via the OnGuard Command Portal at any time.
Example: configure settings for dialing an automatic ERC callout # when a Panic Alert is triggered.
HAZARDOUS LOCATION MODE
Haz-Loc Mode allows a worker to show his workgroup and the Command Portal that he is going to be working in a Hazardous Location for a period of time. When the timer expires the worker will be prompted to check-in. Touching the Haz-Loc icon provides a convenient check-in timer.
When Haz-Loc times-out the worker is reminded to check-in. They will have two options: MAP & GPS.
If outdoors, choose GPS to check-in. If you are indoors, MAP will allow you to choose your position on a map manually. GPS location is often unavailable indoors so manual map check-ins are the best option to define user location.
Haz-Loc Mode can be stopped / cancelled by touching its icon on any screen then selecting ‘Stop’.
A new check-in is sent automatically when Haz-Loc Mode is manually stopped.
This view can list places workers visit often such as a processing facility, truck terminal or hospital and can include facilities drawn to scale or site plans showing emergency muster locations.
• Selecting a location from the list will recenter the map.
• Workers at this location will be displayed on the map.
• Locations can be added by supervisors in the field using the Mobile Client or from the Command Portal.
NFC CHECK-IN FUNCTIONALITY
Every current smartphone includes NFC (Near Field Communication). NFC is how “tap” works when paying for a coffee at Starbucks, for example. NFC requires fairly close proximity between sending and receiving NFC-enabled devices. NFC tags use very little power, are very secure and inexpensive. This makes them ideal to be distributed throughout an enterprise’s facilities at key locations, such as entrances, exits, and muster areas. OnGuard allows administrative users to add and name NFC locations that also offer a convenient way to check in at locations workers frequent.
NFC tags are programmed with a location identifier and then affixed to the structure at that location. When the user taps the NFC tag with handset they are automatically checked in at that location.
Adding NFC tags to indoor locations allow users to check-in at defined locations within a building without dependence on GPS.
NFC tags can also pass significant amounts of information about the location to the handset for viewing and action by the user.
INTUITIVE COMMAND PORTAL
When a worker is selected by a Command Portal operator, their location details show updated time, Latitude, Longitude, civil address plus LSD coordinates in AB, SK & MB. NTS coordinates shown for BC locations.
UTM coordinates shown for other provinces, US and the rest of the world.
PANIC ALERT CONFIGURATIONS
The OnGuard Command Portal receives an Alert from a Mobile Client in near real-time.
All users in that worker’s group can optionally receive a Panic Alert status change at the same time as the Command Portal.
When an Alert is received, the map automatically re-centres on that user’s location.
Clicking the Respond button opens a new browser tab allowing the dispatcher to begin recording details of the incident.