Toronto-based Guardly announced today the launch of its indoor positioning system (IPS) tech, adding more specificity and heightened capabilities in environments like office buildings to their mobile safety solution. The startup, which provides mobile safety apps for smartphone devices, and the infrastructure to support it for enterprise, education and other organizations, says its new IPS tech means it can not only show the rough geographic location of someone in danger, but also transmit information such as the specific floor they’re on or even what room they’re in if they’re within a building.
Guardly already offers instant two-way communication and incident tracking for emergency responder staff, like with its Safe Campus product aimed at educational institutions. With that system, students have the Guardly app installed on their devices, and if they need help, they simply press a button in the app and campus police are notified of their situation. It can automatically transmit personal info, and coordinates pulled from geolocation services, and now it can add to that much more specific info, which is incredibly useful if the party making the emergency call isn’t able to communicate further after the initial contact.
“For public safety it blows it out of the water,” Guardly founder and CEO said about what IPS adds to a mobile security solution. “And for private safety the existing technology’s not even close. We’re looking to redefine this industry in terms of what the technology is capable of.”
The tech behind Guardly’s IPS system bears all the hallmarks of standard IPS deployments, and makes use of things like radio frequency fingerprinting to pinpoint the location of devices within a structure or to a more accurate degree. It’s coming to Guardly’s Android offering first, since the device level access required to make it work isn’t exactly available to third-party developers on iOS, but Sookman says the company is “looking to cover off the other platforms as soon as possible,” and says that they have some ideas about how to make the system work on the more closed iOS mobile platform, too.
Sookman says the introduction of the new tech opens up a whole new category of potential customer for his mobile safety solution. Hospitals, office buildings, private apartments, indoor parking garages and more are all now fair game, and Guardly intends to pursue that market with the introduction of its Building Safety solutions. The additions add significantly to the company’s growth prospects, and the demand for something like seems apparent given the recent rise of concern around security in closed locations like schools.
Guardly will be offering IPS as an add-on module to its existing service, in the form of a paid service upgrade with a price dependent on volume and extend of coverage required. This is a huge service change for Guardly in terms of helping it get ahead of competitors like Rave Mobile, so it’ll be interesting to see how it affects their market share in this growing category.