Blueforce Development: Arming Response Teams With Mobile Streaming

January 30, 2019 by

Case Study: Mobile Streaming for Response Teams  

Real-Time Streaming for Rapid Decision-Making

In hazardous work environments and military operations, timely delivery of information can be a matter of life and death. The BlueforceTACTICAL mobile app recently launched the Wowza Streaming Plugin to equip frontline users with live-streaming video supported by location, incident collaboration, and sensor fusion — all via their smartphone.

2005

Blueforce Development is created to address the changing nature of conflict with tactical technology solutions.

2011

The Department of Defense (DoD) launches an exploration into leveraging 4G LTE and smartphones in its missions.*

2018

Blueforce announces Wowza Streaming Plugin for the BlueforceTACTICAL mobile app.

*Source: Streaming Media

 

Case Study Snapshot

Challenges: Solutions: Outcomes:
  • Create low-latency streaming bodycams for use in military and hazardous environments.
  • Deliver stream analytics tools for facial detection and recognition, object identification, sentiment analysis, and character recognition.
  • Minimize equipment complexity and ensure quick adaptation.
  • Achieved sub-2000-millisecond latency, with 500-millisecond latency to be offered in the near future.
  • Increased speed of command on the front line by integrating a number of information services into the app.
  • Deployed the platform as a mobile app to enable rich information sharing without additional equipment.

 

Designing Technology to Transform the Defense Industry

Streaming isn’t just for Netflix. It also plays a key role in military operations, law enforcement, emergency response, and occupational safety. Today, these emergency scenarios involve onsite and offsite individuals communicating in real time. But how can agencies ensure speedy and accurate collaboration when it matters most?

Michael Helfrich created Blueforce Development in 2005 to enable real-time information sharing that goes beyond radio communication. Closing the gap between team members and commanders required conveying the immediacy of a specific situation through all means possible.

“Just-in-time streaming video is one of the major requirements for rapid decision-making as commanders and responders can go ‘eyes-on’ and truly see what’s going on,” explains Helfrich. “Location if good. Awareness of the surrounding is better. But seeing is believing.”

 

Fusing Mobile Streaming With Machine Learning

Minimizing video lag is always a priority. For these mission-critical applications, survival depends on it.

While streaming has been around for some time, delivering live video across the world from the back of a Humvee has not. That’s why latency and portability are key when it comes to video communications in high-risk situations.

Blueforce Development has used Wowza to deliver streams from a host of connected platforms for years — including canines, unattended ground sensors, robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, and more.

More recently, Blueforce announced the Wowza Streaming Plugin for BlueforceTACTICAL, which provides end users with a bodycam solution that runs on mobile devices. Medical operators on the battlefield and special ops teams on reconnaissance missions can now deploy video streams hands-free — without the need for additional equipment.

But BlueforceTACTICAL goes beyond just live streaming. The app supports location sharing, sensor fusion, and incident collaboration. Streams can also be integrated with a suite of cognitive services such as facial recognition, object identification, and character recognition (e.g., insignia, signage, written word).

These additional capabilities transform the mobile app into a tactical wingman.

Blueforce Development Mobile Streaming Bodycam

 

Solving for Latency — Now and in the Future

Rapid deployment of information means the difference between life and death at Blueforce Development.

According to Helfrich, “for fire response, 7000 millisecond latency is OK. But for military and law enforcement, we needed 2000 milliseconds or less. When used with RTSP, we are seeing less than 2000-millisecond latency. WebRTC is exciting because of the 500-millisecond latency.”

When timely video delivery is a matter of employee safety, Wowza and Blueforce development take care of business. This technology is now readily available for the many industries that rely on it — ranging from fire responders to workers in hazardous environments.

“With Wowza, the price is right, stability is very good, and documentation is fantastic. I have been able to find tech notes for nearly every question I have had,” says Helfrich.

Because BlueforceTACTICAL takes the form of a mobile app operated on users’ devices, new capabilities can be added in a matter of days. That way, the platform will continue to secure front-line responders and secure need-to-know information — now and in the future.

“We looked at several solutions in the streaming media space, but went with Wowza because of the portability, manageability, and broad array of protocols. Most importantly, the focus on low latency is mission-critical for our customers,” Helfrich concludes.

Build Your Own Live-Streaming Solution

Looking to improve real-time information sharing between your users? Download the free GoCoder SDK, and get started with a free developer trial of Wowza Streaming Engine or Wowza Streaming Cloud.