UMD M-Urgency App Becomes Publicly Available
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On Wednesday the University of Maryland's emergency smartphone application, M-Urgency, gets its long-awaited public launch, when the app becomes available for free download to the university community. The app -- currently available only for android phones -- allows students, faculty and staff to instantly share video, audio and location information about their emergency with university police dispatchers. The M-Urgency app was developed by UMD Computer Science Professor Ashok Agrawala and his team in collaboration with the university's Department of Public Safety. Together they have been conducting a test deployment for some time and are now ready to share the application university-wide. Though the app is currently only for android phones and the UMD community, the technology could be applied to any phone and any community across the nation, according to its developers. Apps for other phones are planned. The M-Urgency technology is based on Adobe software infrastructure, and the commercial applications are being developed by AlphaTrek, a Maryland company started by Agrawala.