Some time in the not-too-distant future, a brave, if chilly, soul will send the following tweet: “on #K2 summit. v tired. awesome view. cu @ basecamp”. You will have the UK firm Active Web Solutions (AWS) to thank for it. AWS has developed a Global Alerting Platform (GAP) based on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service that will allow …
I think I can see what the company gets out of developing the tools and expertise to set this up, as well as any publicity Long may they flourish.
(And don't forget the RNLI)
I'm glad it's been developed into a two way messaging system. Early satellite alert systems were useful but flawed.
There was a particular American system that was designed for sea rescue; but as it technically worked from anywhere, it was adopted by remote mountain workers in the UK (eg. National Park, English Nature etc). The first time it was used in a real situation by somebody who was injured and stranded remotely (I think in the Brecon Beacons), the American operator saw the alert go off, realised the coordinates were on land rather than sea, and dismissed it as an error or mistake.
So what value does "cloud" add?
Satellite phone technology is well-established although still quite expensive. The "GAP" product sounds like a terrestrial gateway to route satphone texts into Twitter. Surely this could be done easily with a traditional hosted server?
Top of ths stairs
*Tweet - Today the stairs! Tomorrow K2!
Hard to see the gap in the market...
GIven stuff like PLBs and simpler things like SPOT devices for doing relatively simple but essential things like request help or (in the case of the latter) check in to say all is well, and given the existence of iridium satphones that are SMS capable, I'm not entirely certain where this product is going to be used. Maybe if they make something as cheap as the SPOT that can send texts, they'll be on to a winner. If not, who will care about them?
More info on GAP...
I found some more information on this here: www.globalalerting.com
It answers some of the questions raised in the previous comments...
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