Growing smartphone use will have dramatic impact on disaster response

April 09 2008 / by GuestBlogger / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 11 Hot

By W. David Stephenson
This piece was originally posted here on Stephenson blogs on homeland security 2.0 et al.

Smartphones now account for 10% of all cell phone sales, according to research released Monday at the Smartphone Summit in Vegas (and their sales are about to overtake those for laptops). When that happens, I’m predicting that, among the huge changes having data storage with you at all times will mean, will include major differences for disaster management and terrorism survival.

This is an issue near and dear to me. Those with long memories may remember that I got my start in homeland security creating a series of “Terrorism Survival” modules (I no longer maintain them, sadly, since the sales were never enough to justify the expense) that could be downloaded to your smartphone. Users could navigate from the broadest category of preparations or response to extremely detailed information in only 3 clicks. In a worst-case scenario, where users weren’t able to communicate at all, they still had the most important information literally in the palms of their hands (I calculated that having the same information in the original paper forms would have required that each time you left the house in the morning you’d have to heft a 300+ page bundle — and when things went to hell in a handbasket you’d still have to figure out where in that bundle the relevant information was located!). (cont.)

Continue Reading