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MARIUS: emergency SMS alerts from helicopters

Omar McFarlane
01.29.07
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Officials taking advantage of the ubiquitous nature of cellphones to ensure the safety of the public is nothing new to us, but with its newest project, the European Commission is definitely taking it to a new level. The "Mobile Autonomous Reactive Information System for Urgency Situations" or MARIUS as it will be more affectionately referred, allows rescue teams to send SMS alerts from helicopters with built-in miniature wireless networks to areas, regardless of whether there is a functioning network in place. The project, which is being facilitated by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), Thales, BAES, Selex, Eurocopter and Swapcom, is designed to allow for the rapid deployment of "autonomous Command Posts" which function in any sort of disaster. The project was successfully tested last month in a laboratory and July will mark the first one site testing in Valencia, Spain. It should be said though, while we definitely enjoy seeing technology used in this sort of capacity, it is does make us wonder where it will leave certain folks in such moments of crisis.

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