Sepura has launched SmartChat, a secure operational messaging solution that joins smartphone, tablet and office-based staff with field officers equipped with TETRA terminals.
SmartChat enables mission critical messages to be shared between users on a secure TETRA platform, enabling all members of the operational team to be kept informed and aware of developing intelligence.
Crucially, SmartChat enables TETRA radio users to see and share text and image-based communications. It can be extended to multiple web browsers and smart devices with either iOS or Android-based operating systems, meaning data is shared across an entire operational team, not just those with a particular device.
Using chat-based messaging to support voice communications means it is easier to share complex or hard to remember information such as an address or a specific location, a car registration or a maintenance part. Messages are stored on the device and available for reference when required.
Similarly, images can be shared and used for reference during operations; for instance, the image of a missing person sent to rescue teams; an image of a burst water pipe sent to maintenance teams, or an image of a missing part sent to the purchasing team to allow a repair to be completed.
By using the secure TETRA network, SmartChat ensures crucial information is received by users even when the broadband coverage is poor – this is frequently the case in large buildings, underground locations or remote spots.
User groups can be quickly expanded to include any connected device with the SmartChat application downloaded. This means additional resources can quickly be added to an operational team, with a history of conversation to bring them up to speed. This feature supports operational teams such as maintenance teams in utilities or oil and gas plants when officers are added to an operation, or for regular operations ahead of a shift change.
The application is the latest in Sepura’s portfolio of applications available via AppSPACE, a unique applications environment available on Sepura’s SC Series mobile and hand portable radios.
Jon Cossins, Product Manager at Sepura said: “SmartChat was designed to improve overall situational awareness for mission critical users. For these users, their next action is often dependent on the information they have to hand. By sharing data as widely as possible, in a simple user interface, the application seamlessly joins smartphone, control room and TETRA radio users. This improves operational efficiency and supports staff safety.”
Peter Hudson, Chief Technology Officer at Sepura added: “We are seeing an increase in the number of smartphone users in the commercial and mission critical environment, but these users are unable to share information with front line users of TETRA radios. This is as relevant in critical national infrastructure such as transport and utilities as it is in public safety. SmartChat is a powerful solution to support these organisations; using the benefits of a secure TETRA platform and ensuring that voice channels are kept free for emergency communications.”