Las Vegas – One of the greatest challenges, historically, in security has been effectively communicating with people in a given environment during an emergency situation – be it a man-made or natural calamity. The advent of various mass notification and emergency communication solutions have certainly helped end-users be able to get emergency messages out to affected populations more quickly, but even they can have their limitations. However, the PinPoint Initiative believes it has created a solution that strikes the right balance between keeping people informed and enabling an organization to know where their personnel and assets are during an emergency.
According to Jana Rankin, PinPoint’s co-founder and CEO, PinPoint leverages real-time location system technology (RTLS) to provide users with a comprehensive emergency management and asset protection solution.
“Basically what we are doing is identifying, locating and interacting with all of the individuals on a campus,” Rankin says. “We wanted a system where you could integrate with video cameras, access points, intrusion detection, and it all overlaid on a map that identifies all of the individuals within the building. What makes our technology special is we’re taking an inside-out approach to security management and we’re focusing on the open space.”
The solution uses individuals’ smartphones to be able to track and communicate with them during an emergency.
“Think about it, today I will leave my wallet at home by accident but I never forget my cellphone, so what we are doing is we’re taking that cell phone on every person and turning it into a personal safety device,” Rankin adds. “The beautiful thing about our system is it works with or without an app installed, so we see individuals that are not associated or registered within that campus.”
Rankin, who has spent the bulk of her career working in marketing and technology development roles in the auto industry, said the idea for PinPoint was born out of a conference call she took part in during the Detroit Auto Show and a discussion surrounding some of the finer points of an exhibit she was putting on at a former company and how they were going to track various shipments to the show.
“For some reason, my business hat came off and my mom hat came on and I thought: ‘You know what, we spend a lot of money, time and effort over vehicles, but what if we had something like this for schools and campuses to facilitate communication and put a layer of protection around our children?’ Rankin says. “As soon as the call was over, I started penning [my idea] and one of my co-founders, who is a technologist, started building the code and we brought it to market.”
Rankin says they see PinPoint as being complementary to any existing hardware or security ecosystems that already exist within a facility. And, because is also incorporates more than just emergency management, end-users will likely interact with it on a daily basis and not just when things take a turn for the worse.
“We created a system that people are going to be using every day, so in the event of an emergency, it would be a natural reaction to use the system to help save lives or give people an advance warning to run, hide or fight,” she says.
While they initially approached the development of PinPoint as primarily a solution for educational campuses, Rankins says along the way they also realized that it could be applicable to a wide range of applications in security. “Just the other day we had a call with a four-star general and we’re working [to deploy the system] on two nuclear plants, so I think the PinPoint application would work on a corporate campus, hospital, airport, etc.,” Rankin adds
In addition, PinPoint is taking a “three-pronged” approach with its go-to-market strategy, which consists of bringing its solution to end-users worldwide through the traditional integrator and rep firm channel, working with various consultant groups and being a solution partner with Cisco, who Rankin says is a big fan of their software. The company is also looking to team up with various video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection, and even gunshot detection vendors as part of an effort to build a large, diverse ecosystem of industry partners.
“We want to establish ourselves as a leader in this industry of applying real-time location technology to monitor individuals and we’re hoping to walk away from ISC West with some strategic partnerships, win some awards and identify clients in need of our system,” Rankin concludes.
For more information about PinPoint, visit http://www.pinpointinitiative.com.
About the Author:
Joel Griffin is the Editor of SecurityInfoWatch.com and a veteran security journalist. You can reach him at [email protected]