Presenting my project on satellites for emergency response and attending the EENA2018 conference

in #technology3 years ago

This week, I was sent to Ljubljana in Slovenia to present the project that I have had the pleasure to run for the past year. It’s always nice when after spending a lot of time and effort creating something that you’ve taken ownership of, you get to present it and share it with the world.

Me presenting the satellite applications for search and rescue in the Alps project.

The presentation looked at different satellite applications relevant to emergency response and search and rescue. This includes how satellite data can be used to provide risk profiles of avalanches in the mountains, where a flood will cause the most damage to houses and infrastructure in cities, or how after a natural disaster, satellite imagery can help provide useful information say after an earthquake, flood, landslide or forest fire. Other examples relate to how new and more accurate positioning satellites can enhance first responder’s coordination platforms, or how GPS mobile location can (and should, in my opinion, be automatically shared with the emergency response centre whenever you dial the emergency number on a mobile device.

The presentation went very well and I’m looking forward to build on the conversations I’ve had with the people that listened to my talk and were eager to work on improving how these technologies are implemented and used around Europe.

Picture of the next presentation held in the Innovation Theatre to give a better picture of where I was.

The Technology expo

Public safety is big business for many tech-companies providing IT infrastructure, handheld and mobile devices, etc. At the conference, companies such as Microsoft, Huawei, even Facebook, and numerous other SMEs working with drones, AI and different software packages were present to showcase what they got. As my main purpose besides delivering my presentation was to build new relationships with users and providers of satellite-based technologies, I got to visit all of the stands rather than listening to all of the talks held in the auditoriums.

The hallway hosted 28 different stands by tech companies presenting their different solutions, let's have a look at some of them!

Augmented Reality for policemen

At Microsoft’s stand, they were eager to sell the idea that a policeman arriving at the scene of a crime could benefit from using their hololens product. I got to try out the glasses with their augmented reality application. Basically, it allowed for numerous extra screens to be displayed within my field of vision showing the same information that the coordination centres would have on their screens. Thus, the policemen can see themselves the information that is being browsed and communicated on and add information as they see it in the field by sharing their view with the hololens camera.

Currently, this is not being used operationally yet but is being tried out in pilot projects in the health sector when first responders may need information sent by an expert at the hospital to view besides their patient in an ambulance or at the place where the emergency took place.

Me wearing the Hololense at Microsoft’s stand at the EENA2018 conference

AI assistance for emergency call centres

Next, I tried out handling an emergency call with the help of an advanced AI assistant made by Corti!

The StartUp company had an advanced layer of your typical emergency call centre dashboard which provided AI-based assistance in handling emergency calls. The AI had been trained by listening to thousands of emergency call conversations to get better at determining what condition the person in need had based on the description and tone of voice of the caller. The AI had also grown better at providing the right suggestions of questions for the person at the call centre to ask the caller in order to determine if the accident was a cardiac arrest as quickly as possible. As an emergency call takes place, the program continuously analyses the conversation to note keywords that are stated by the caller and provides the optimal questions and suggestions to make the process faster. As you may know, every minute it takes for a person to receive emergency treatment n the case of a heart attack may reduce their chance of survival by 10-15%, so any help to reduce wasted time and increase the reliability of right response is key.

I got to try it out myself! Behind a curtain at their stand was a typical emergency response desk for a call taker equipped with an extra screen which displayed the recommendations and notes given by the AI. A call was then received by a desperate woman who had seen an older man fall over on the street and needed help. I was impressed by the quality of the voice recognition and the program (which is used for training of emergency call-takers) to understand my questions and make realistic responses by the caller.

Me handling an emergency call of a person with heart attack at the Corti stand

The AI also made the process a whole lot easier, to the point where even I (although I do know the procedures taken in the cases of emergency calls with a suspicion of a heart attack) could carry out the job whilst having a glass of wine. I left the stand convinced that AI can and will help reduce the average response times to cardiac arrests which in turn will save hundreds of lives annually.

Facebook showing how they want to help communities organise in response to emergency situations

One main sponsor who surprised me by their big interest in the conference was Facebook. Now since the main topic of the event looks at emergency call applications, it is true that Facebook is now where many early warnings, reporting and documentation of crisis takes place. Indeed, the first persons at any emergency location are usually another citizen who possesses a smartphone with a social media account. Therefore, in many situations, the first and best intelligence available to a coordination centre may not be from a professional, but rather from the live streaming of someone at the place of let's say a terror attack or a big storm.

In recent years, many of us will also have seen our friends tag themselves as “safe” on Facebook when they are in the area of a terror attack or in a city hit by a hurricane. However, in the instances where someone is not okey, perhaps because their house is flooded or they need a place to stay for the night, Facebook can help them find people nearby who are willing to offer help.

Facebook roadmap public safety.png
Facebook’s roadmap from their first emergency response applications and until now

Social dinner in a medieval castle!

For the evening of the second day, the speakers and some delegates were invited to a social dinner in a medieval castle overlooking Ljubljana! Having seen the castle from down below during my walks around the city, I was really looking forward to this as it is one of the best-kept castles from the medieval era in Europe.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a well-dressed couple ready to escort us inside! After keeping them for a bunch of obligatory pictures, our journey continued inside.

Me, my colleague and 2 of the EENA staff in front of the Ljubljana castle

Me trying to find a good picture at the top despite the windy weather

In summary

New technologies are finding their ways more and more into the hands of first responders and public safety workforces both at their workplace and out in the field. While it is still a very conservative industry, as tolerance for failure is next to done and where the need for training has to be very low, fancy tech such as AI, drones and VR is no longer just buzzwords, but are being well understood and appreciated by the users.

As for the place, I would certainly recommend any travel addict out there to give Ljubljana a visit. Although it is a small city, it is packed with beauty, lovely bars and restaurants and gorgeous women!

I’m already considering if it could be the next destination for myself after Paris :)

I hope this has given you some new insight into what new technologies and data science are being used for good. It certainly gave me many new ideas!

As always, take care!


AR is new technology and it may gave many flaws at this time but soon it will change the whole world. You have written the blog quite interestingly and I have heard some new terms here. Now I will love to know about them in detail.

This was a very interesting read, @fredrikaa! It is interesting to see that these types of technologies are being applied to projects that could save life, and not just end up in the entertainment industry.

and should, in my opinion, be automatically shared with the emergency response centre whenever you dial the emergency number on a mobile device

I agree. I think it's pretty strange that this is not standard yet. I mean, most cell phones have a GPS, right? I'm thinking that making an update to cell phones that shares your position with an emergency operator would be pretty easy to create, and could potentially save lots of lives.

Best regards from @valth

He @fredrikaa , how did you find the hololens? I tried one and admit I had a lot of issues with it because of poor field of view. However, I do think they are continually making improvements to that aspect.

Anyway, really enjoyed your write-up. It sounds like your project could really help save lives. Big thumbs up for that!

As for the hololens I found the view to be really good. Crystal clear, not at all tiresome to the eyes, and very practical.

The way you use your hands to interact with the content in a virtual "touch" environment is still pretty bad though (imo). Just opening and closing screens can be quite a hassle...

Glad to hear that you liked the write-up! I also think we are taking important steps to bringing the right technologies in the hands of those that really need them to make an impact!

Its really a privilege to attend and present ur work at this kind of conferences..!

nd ths kind of gatherings offer to share and know about the future tech with first person experience..!!! good to see u attending the EENA..!

The presenting fred looks like a super serious diplomat though..! 😜

Anyways, good day..!!!

~ Christina

Thanks for the comment @christinaa !
Hehe, well I was very serious when delivering our main findings :p in those kinds of room you have to fight to maintain the attention of your audience.

of course..! its a real tough job to speak in front of the audience there. Mostly likely they r scholars or enthusiasts who are really concerned about the tech..!!
im sure u did a great work there..!!! @fredrikaa

You have done great work! The last picture is just amazing! :D

Thanks buddy!
Yeah I noticed going through them that it might be material for a new profile picture :D

Good job @fredrikaa! How did you like Ljubljana? One of the cutest cities in my opinion... Hope you had some free time for sightseeing!

Wait, you’re an economist???

Yep! It's been in my description the whole time :p

The project is really very large and very cool talking about a problem that could occur in the future
You are a wonderful person and really successful
I wish you all the best

Your work us awesome!
Keep doing the good work!
Best of luck.for the future

Ahhhh My favorite city! Cool castle :)

nice job! i love hearing about technology that is for a good purpose, not just for fun. It will be really interesting to see where the police force and extensions (911 emergency response etc, fire etc) take the AI programs.

Welcome @fredrikaa!

It looks like you had an extraordinary experience at EENA 2018!
Thanks for sharing with the rest of the #steemSTEM community! I've shared your post to our Facebook page at

It's an interesting juxtaposition between the advanced technology at the conference and the medieval dinner! Seems like you had a great time all over.

I look forward to reading more articles from you, I've also shown your profile to my father, @spederson, who is a major Space Geek that teaches Space Exploration to students. I hope the two of you can nerd out soon!

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First of all your work towards this great project is really appreciable and literally this can prove helpful for man kind in many ways. And yes, in my opinion it's an great moment for you because when we put our time and effort into something which is really important project in aspect, and then the actual pitching time comes, then that gives an proud time because you hold that ownership. And this place is amazing and reflecting as mini indoor ground with that circular creation stage. Hololense is really awesome and in my opinion it's really suiting you. Handling of first emergency call of heart attack case reflecting the start of an kind project and work which will help people. Keep doing the great work and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂

If you have ownership of kind work then the kind work becomes an home work.
-Own Opinionated Thoughts.

What a great post - so sorry I missed this in the last 7 days! You are clocking up some air miles this last month heh!

Great work
Thanks to share

Great blog @fredrikaa! love that new tech is being used for such noble causes. although I am not sure I would like to have you behind the call for my heart attack, with the amount of wine you are drinking in your photo ;)) they do say wine is good for the heart however ;)))

good post...thank you for shahring