Peter Cahill’s effort to innovate public safety technology is a personal one. With one of his family members sexually assaulted at Northwestern 37 years ago, and after his niece was nearly abducted in Barrington in 2012, Cahill decided emergency response technology should be improved, and he was going to be the one to do it.
So Cahill, an investment banker from Arlington Heights, brought in researchers and developers to help him create LifeLine Response, an app that immediately alerts authorities when you’re in danger. It works like this: Users download the app and place their finger on the screen when they’re walking alone, entering a dangerous neighborhood, or simply feel unsafe. Releasing their finger from the screen triggers a 20 second countdown, which then notifies police of your location for officers to respond. The app also sends text notifications to people that users have previously identified as emergency contacts, so family and friends can also see where the incident took place.
The idea is that the app is much faster than calling 911 and more accurate because it’s based on GPS. And soon, using its patent pending technology, LifeLine plans to provide emergency response in seconds rather than minutes with its new drone program.
The drones would be activated as soon as the police are notified, but will arrive on scene in as early as 15 seconds, Cahill told Chicago Inno. The drones provide real-time video surveillance of the incident that would be sent directly to law enforcement to monitor the situation. LifeLine has the technology and equipment in place and has “one of the country’s largest municipalities” already on board to use the program, Cahill said, declining to identify the city.
The problem is that the company needs to receive a FAA regulation exemption to initiate the drone program, Cahill said. Since LifeLine is operating in public safety, he believes the company should receive the exemption “pretty soon,” and it won’t need to go through the red tape that companies like Amazon need to use drones commercially. Cahill said the drone program could be in place as early as Q2 of 2015.
“I think law enforcement is going to be enhanced–especially with situational awareness–by 500 percent,” Cahill said of the drone program.
LifeLine has already prevented at least five attacks across the country, Cahill said. When the 20 second counter begins, an alarm on the phone is triggered with 14 seconds left. In each of the five cases the offender ran away at the sound of the alarm. LifeLine already works with a handful of corporations, hospitals, and universities such as UIC.
The new feature of the app is also beneficial to police who would be able to summon a drone camera if they are approaching an armed subject or encounter a high-speed chase. A city the size of Chicago would need to buy roughly 50 drones from LifeLine to adequately supply its citizens, Cahill said. The drones would remain in a hanger at law enforcement headquarters and can travel up to 65 miles per hour to arrive at the scene of a crime.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com