This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
Doing the show floor walk at technology conferences and gatherings can easily turn into a mind-numbing exercise. A telecom and wireless communications event such as ITEXPO (News - Alert) is even more challenging, as almost every company in attendance has products on the show floor that require a good amount of time and explanation to fully understand and get a handle on.
Those of us who do this sort of thing for a living are always on the lookout for that one product that is different and special – instantly understandable, elegant in execution and offering immediate and valuable services.
To our pleasant surprise, we came across a company last month at ITEXPO that delivers exactly that special product. Newly available, and as far as we are able to discern, the only such product now on the market, is Conexiant’s MultiAlert911, a platform that allows E911 calls to be automatically distributed to any number of people – key contacts – who need to know about any given emergency in real time.
Any user who signs up for the service – which will typically be offered through a carrier or service provider as an add-on service at a cost of about $2.25 per month – will gain access to a Web-based MultiAlert911 management console that will allow the user to designate and pre-authorize multiple recipients to receive notification of any 911 call originating from any set of designated phone numbers.
For example, a user may set up a grandparent phone number to alert any number of people – relatives, doctors, lawyers, nurses, a security office and so on – should a 911 call be place from that number.
But that in itself isn’t the exciting part of MultiAlert911. The user can also set up how each recipient should receive an alert – which can happen through a phone call, through an SMS message, or through e-mail. Further, a user can also designate certain contacts to receive a recording of the 911 call, and even more important, can designate contacts to actually be able to listen in on the 911 call as it happens.
Conexiant refers to the ability to listen to 911 calls as ListenIN, and the technology behind it is now patented by the company.
Conexiant is a VoIP player with an extensive network of VoIP service providers in hand, and we anticipate that the company will be able to get significant distribution for the new service. Conexiant now provides the service directly through its own website, but the real money for the company will be in getting its collection of VoIP service provider customers to white label the service as their own and to offer it to a huge collective subscriber base. Conexiant also offers an “iFrame” that will allow its customers to easily incorporate the Web management page into their own websites and to build their own site brand attributes into it.
The benefits of MultiAlert911 are easy enough to grasp – that is part of the beauty of the product: The benefits are easy to understand, the value of the benefits are indisputable, and the product serves an immediate need. It is a much-needed service, and the collective means of alerting users, including the ability to listen in to a 911 call in real time, will be of significant value – depending, of course, on the nature of the emergency.
MutliAlert911 as it currently exists is already a very valuable service. But there are a large number of capabilities that will also grow from the technology. There are going to be plenty of opportunities to extend the service into the health care industry, for example. Doctors in particular will be able to use the service to stay connected with patients and the medical teams that may be involved with any given patient. Any medical situation can be monitored, and appropriate pre-authorized people will be automatically notified in the best manner for each to be notified. It can happen within the context of a 911 call or it can happen outside of a 911 call.
It will be interesting to see how Conexiant itself looks to extend the multi-alert capabilities of the platform.
We are excited to see Conexiant deliver on something we believe to be a real innovation within an otherwise well-established marketplace – E911 is certainly no longer new, and a number of companies operate in the space. Differentiation is difficult to pull off, but Conexiant’s new patented technology certainly does add a new level of differentiation for the company.
Edited by Braden Becker