Video: Portsmouth Fire and Rescue pilot wireless rescue dog

Wireless firm Wood & Douglas has debuted wireless comms technology for rescue dogs at the Mobile World Congress preview

Wood & Douglas, a wireless firm in the broadcast sector, has developed wireless communications technology for use by rescue dogs.

Wood & Douglas was among 18 companies presenting their products in a preview of Mobile World Congress. Supported by UK Trade & Industry, the companies comprise part of the UK contingency heading to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. The companies were involved in a diverse range of activities from augmented reality, healthcare, and apps for mobile working to mobile infrastructure, streaming technologies and improving the clarity of mobile displays.

The system developed by Wood & Douglas has been piloted by Portsmouth Fire and Rescue. It uses a small broadcast-quality camera and wireless communications, attached to a rescue dog. Grant Notman, head of sales and marketing at Woods & Douglas, said: "The idea is that the dog will be sent into a collapsed building equipped with a wireless video camera, microphone and speaker to communicate with the victim."

Wood & Douglas is also working with British Transport Police on "Track Watch", a device that can be deployed where there is a high risk of copper railway signal wiring being stolen. A covert detection unit videos the theft. 

Wood & Douglas is developing another technology called "Farm Watch", to protect farm vehicles. This is activated when the vehicle's electronic ignition switches on, sending a signal to alert the farmer that the vehicle has been started. The farmer can either ignore the alert, or press a button to inform the police of the incident, with the location of the. vehicle.

Another mobile developer, Mediaburst, has developed an SMS-based healthcare system called "Florence" for the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority. Florence is used by 18 NHS Trusts. and a thousand patients. The application enables patients to text in their own health readings. At Stoke on Trent primary care trust, diabetes patients can send in their blood sugar readings by SMS, which their doctor can monitor remotely using the web-based Florence application. The application can be used to check whether patients are taking the correct medication and is intended to reduce the frequency of hospital visits, the Mediaburst claimed.

Other interesting companies at Mobile World Congress 2012

  • Apical, is an imaging company trying to tackle the challenge of viewing in difficult light conditions without consuming battery life;
  • Datawind has what it says is the cheapest tablet in the world. The $35 tablet is being used in India;
  • P2i has created a liquid repellent. Originally developed for the  Ministry of Defence, the repellent can prevent water damage to smartphones. It is being used on the Droid Razor; and
  • Sub Ten has developed fibre-over-air technology, which it claims can be used to increase data capacity on mobile networks.

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