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GCN : March 2013
FEATURE SMARTPHONE NETWORKS many areas is the uneven availability of cellular signals. "For military applica- tions, that is the biggest limitation right now," said Ledeczi. "They need to build up the infrastructure and it needs to be secure, jamming-resistant and all that stuff." In fact, SOLOMON is just one part of a broad effort by DARPA to develop in- expensive sensor systems by adapting commercial technologies. As part of that effort, the agency's Adaptable Sensor System program recently announced that it was actively recruiting smartphone ap- plication developers. Although civilian agencies at all levels are looking into smartphone sensor net- works only a handful have actually been deployed to date. San Francisco and Los Angeles, for example, have set up sys- tems that help drivers find parking spots. In San Francisco, data from sensors im- planted in 8,200 street parking spaces is broadcast to a mesh network. Drivers can access the data from a smartphone appli- cation (as well as from a SF park website) to locate where parking is available. And university researchers are also develop- ing pilot applications with broad poten- tial uses (see box). EMERGENCY RESPONSE APPS And researchers are testing ways of using smartphone sensors to help in emergen- cy response. Photographing unfamiliar buildings or machinery to learn what's inside the building or how that machine works is the idea behind the Hybrid 4-Di- mensional Augmented Reality (HD4AR), a project of the MAGNUM Group at Vir- ginia Tech University. The project, led by Jules White, a pro- fessor of electrical and computer engi- neering, can use a smartphone's sensors, geotagging features, camera and video and audio recorders to augment situ- ational awareness for first responders, construction crews or the public. GCN MARCH 2013 • GCN.COM 21 Shooter Localization with Mobile Phones Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Vanderbilt University project for Android phone- equipped soldiers to pinpoint a sniper 's location by processing data from the sound and shockwave of a gunshot. Hybrid 4-Dimensional Augmented Reality Virginia Tech project that uses smartphone sensors, geotagging, cameras and video and audio recorders to enhance situational awareness for first responders or replace design drawings for construction crews. West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project Local organization collects air quality data using a handheld device with sensors, to measure particulates. Designed by the University of California- Berkeley and Intel. AirCasting Records, maps and shares health and environmental information using smartphones to process data from sensors that measure temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Developed by non-profit environmental organization HabitatMap. DARPA Adaptable Sensor System Program to identify techniques to rapidly develop low- cost sensor systems to keep up with rising military demand by adapting commercial manufacturing processes, using reusable technologies and recruiting smartphone application developers. POWERING UP SMARTPHONE SENSORS