Flyhound Takes Off with Patented Missing Person Location Technology and Graduates from NEC X's Venture Studio Program
PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NEC X Inc., the innovation incubator and accelerator for NEC’s emerging technologies, announced today that technology startup Flyhound Corporation has graduated from its Venture Studio Program. The search for missing people and disaster victims can be a time-sensitive task, and with the Flyhound solution, a missing person can be located in just 30 minutes within a 50-meter radius.
Flyhound incorporates patented technology, developed by NEC Laboratories Europe, that can be mounted on a drone to triangulate cellular signals from the mobile devices of missing people and disaster victims. It displays their position on a digital map of the search area in real time, reducing the time required for search. With the Flyhound solution, the location of missing people can be determined 100 times faster than with current search and rescue methods.1,2
“NEC X is pleased to have worked with Flyhound to incubate and help develop their business from day one,” said Shige Ihara, President and CEO, NEC X. “Right after matching them with the research team from NEC Laboratories Europe, the Flyhound team formed quickly and did a great job conducting customer discovery and engaging with many different organizations, including public safety agencies, to clearly identify their needs. They then completed several proofs of concept to validate the product-market fit,” Ihara added, “Public safety and disaster response are resource intensive. First responders are often in need of additional manpower – technology that saves time, money and lives will always be in demand. We wish Flyhound great success as a graduate of our program.”
Corey Hoefling, a firefighter at New Jersey’s Carlstadt Fire Department, spoke about the importance of personal cell phones and value-add technology like Flyhound’s in rescue situations, “It’s incredibly valuable from a rescue standpoint to be able to map out where cell phones are in an emergency. Cell phones are something people always carry with them, so if we need to find someone in an emergency, this is a tool that can get us to them faster, and ultimately help save lives.”
Flyhound technology does not require an active cellular network signal, making it ideal for use in remote or disaster areas where cellular network infrastructure is not available or has been disabled. Unlike existing search and rescue drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras, Flyhound can locate missing people even when the view is obstructed, making it possible to detect people behind trees, foliage, and even inside of structures beyond what any camera can see. Flyhound CEO and Co-Founder Manny Cerniglia said, “We are proud to be able to assist public safety agencies in the crucial task of saving lives and have made it our mission to find people fast.”
Using Flyhound technology, first responders can also identify channel artifacts produced by different propagation environments, like rubble caused by earthquakes, floodwaters, orextreme snowfall. Using this capability, the location of disaster victims or missing people can also be detected. For example, first responders can identify homes or buildings destroyed by natural disasters that still may have survivors in them. Additionally, Flyhound integrates into unmanned aerial vehicle and incident management platforms, making it easy for agencies to deploy the technology rapidly to meet their changing needs.
Flyhound has been accepted into Alchemist Accelerator and the TELUS Community Safety and Wellness Program to enhance their business launch. Rachel Chalmers, President and Managing Director, Alchemist Accelerator, said, “It’s been a privilege to work with Manny and the team as they develop this valuable NEC technology into a commercially viable solution for public safety. Today’s launch of Flyhound makes the world a safer place, and as for the company’s future, the sky’s the limit.”
2SARDO: An Automated Search-and-Rescue Drone-based Solution for Victims Localization (A. Albanese, V. Sciancalepore, X. Costa-Perez). NEC Laboratories Europe, IEEE Explore, 2021.
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