Israeli start-up company Reporty Homeland Security is raising $1 million from former prime minister and minister of defense Ehud Barak. The company's field of activity is "smart cities". Its system is designed to improve and streamline communications between the citizen and the various official bodies, and boost his or her sense of personal security while preserving privacy. Reporty is in the process of developing a global platform for real-time reporting, the use of which could save lives. The current investment is intended to expedite development, and to enable the company to hire employees and distribute its system to emergency services and government organizations around the world.
Emergency services and government authorities in Israel and elsewhere in the world receive hundreds of millions of calls every year. The average time of a call to an assistance center is 2-3.5 minutes, during which the center has to understand the situation rapidly and locate where the incident is happening, to gauge the credibility of the report and of the person making it, and to decide how and with what available resources to act. Despite the time invested in clarifying the details relevant to making that decision, the various bodies concerned still report that 20-30% of the calls are false alarms. For example, in relation to the abduction of three Israeli teenagers by terrorists last June, Israel Police stated that of ten million calls made to it annually, over 20% are nuisance calls. Magen David Adom, which has started working with Reporty, says 23% of the nine million calls made to it annually are false alarms.
See: Video interview with Reporty Homeland Security CEO Amir Elichai at Global Tech Box
Another critical factor is the speed at which the location of the person making the call is identified. In the US alone, 10,000 people a year die because the rescue services fail to locate them in emergencies.
Reporty sets out to change this picture by making the reporting of an incident and the reception of the report more efficient, saving expenses on the part of the authorities, and, more importantly, saving lives. The company does this through a system for video transmission in real time that incorporates a machine learning algorithm for locating the source of a call even inside buildings.
At the press of a button, the application establishes a two-way video and audio connection to the relevant assistance center, sending information that includes precise data giving the location of the person making the report and enabling the report's credibility to be assessed. For instance, when someone reports a medical emergency to Magen David Adom, the person on duty will be able to view the incident, and even give instructions on how to deal with it.
Reporty's solution is based on a smartphone app and a command and control system installed at emergency centers, such as the police, Magen David Adom, and local authorities. In addition, the application allows for communication with "guardians", that is, people whom users define as able to assist them in routine incidents and in emergencies.
Reporty's system is designed for integration in smart cities, but is capable of being used in cities without such infrastructure. The company also seeks to have its system installed at sites such as airports and company premises.
Reporty was founded in 2014 by its CEO Amir Elichai, a former commander in an elite IDF unit who also has experience in venture capital in Israel. Elichai teamed up with Pinchas Buchris, formerly director-general of Israel's Ministry of Defense and a former commander of the IDF's 8200 intelligence unit, who is a director of the company. Among the other founders are VP business development Lital Leshem, VP technologies Alex Dizengof, and systems developer Yoni Yatsun.
Reporty is based in Tel Aviv. It plans to hire ten people by the end of the year, chiefly in mobile and algorithm development.
"The solution we are developing is based on deep technology, both on the end-user side and on the command and control side," said Elichai, who added, "We are excited by the faith that Ehud Barak has placed in us. His rich experience in security will undoubtedly assist us is formulating our strategy and in launching the product in Israel and around the world."
Barak himself said, "Reporty provides an answer to a vital need of every citizen, namely a sense of security based on immediate and simple access to emergency services, and connection at critical moments with those closest to him or her. For organizations such as municipalities, hospitals, airports, the police, fire and rescue services and so forth, Reporty will provide a platform for control and reporting that involves citizens but maintains their privacy. Reporty is led by a group of well-qualified, goal-oriented professionals, and I believe that this high-quality team will be capable of continuing to develop the product for additional uses that are relevant to both official bodies and citizens everywhere in the world."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 14, 2015
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