SMS a friend for help

June 2004 Infrastructure

JSE-listed Beget Holdings has launched a locally developed software solution, SMSOS, which alerts a network of preselected people in the event of an emergency. SMSOS is a cellphone based, one-touch panic button facility that utilises cellular location based systems (LBS) technology and the infrastructure of major cellphone network operators in South Africa to send a distress signal to respondents chosen by the subscriber. The system operates with any cellphone that is capable of speed dial and caller ID.

The SMSOS number is loaded on a speed dial on the subscriber's phone for quick access. By pressing the panic button a distress call is relayed to each of the respondents who will receive a priority SMS. This SMS includes personal and contact information, as well as the location of the person in distress via GSM coordinates. The ability to locate a cellphone is dependent on the cell coverage of the network provider, so the greater the density of the network's masts, the greater the accuracy of the location.

The service provider for the SMSOS system, Exactmobile, will in addition to hosting the hardware and software, also provide a 24-hour support and maintenance service via their call centre.

Says Lize Gerber, product manager, Beget Dynamics, "The main subscriber can register up to nine dependants as part of the package and can easily add, edit and maintain the database of personal information through the Internet.

"SMSOS ensures the user's privacy by sending SMSs out only when the user has consented by pressing the panic button and the information will only be sent to the list of respondents selected by the subscriber. SMSOS cannot locate any subscriber without him first activating the panic call."

SMSOS will be made available through a network of distributors that will be appointed over the next few months.

For more information contact Lize Gerber, Beget Dynamics, 012 348 1216, [email protected],

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