sms,MMS, and Push Notificstions

William Prothero waprothero at gmail.com
Mon Aug 14 23:01:32 EDT 2017


Thanks, Stephen:
What we are using as a preliminary solution is a mass sms and/or MMS texts and identical voice calls to our 49 numbers, initiated by one of several possible initiators who are called if a fire is observed. We are using eztexting.com <http://eztexting.com/> for the texts and voiceshot.com <http://voiceshot.com/> for the voice messaging. It’s very inexpensive for voice $9/mo and 12c for each call. The texts are low cost too. We can enter several preset messages that we can choose from, depending on the immediacy of action that’s required. So, I figure that there are two tries per event and we should get most of the folks. I think another alert channel would be push notifications, but for now we’re sticking with voice and text. We expect the alerts to be very rare (we hope). I think a custom app that could initiate these actions more automatically would be quite nice, but the IT for it would take more of an investment than I’m willing to make, and there is no money in it unless it would take off in the app store, and if I made it general enough for most neighborhoods.

For a bare bones, primitive system, text messages could be sent out and initiating a voice call to the group voice provider could be built in. It has to be easy and fast for the alert initiator, who would most likely be packing up for evacuation at the same time. Push notifications would be nice too. One problem is that the initiator’s phone number always appears in the voice call and text notification. If a more descriptive sender, like “ALERT-XX”, it would be better, but that would most likely require setting up a dedicated alert server, and I don’t want to tackle that at this time.

Best,
Bill P.

> On Aug 14, 2017, at 4:18 PM, Stephen Barncard via use-livecode <use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
> 
> If I were to create an emergency alert app, I'd make something that stayed
> alive and was always verifying the existence of a central entity - web
> site, server etc. and the fail safe is that the user would be alerted when
> out of range.   An 'always on' executable that would have to be carefully
> crafted to not take up too much battery energy, yet ping headquarters for a
> change every few seconds, then go into alert mode when the latest check
> reveals the emergency.
> 
> It would be part of the routine of the wearer (fireman, whatever) to 'check
> in' with the server and verify correct operation, then just keep it running
> all day. The data would be minimal and UDP packets have incredibly low
> latency - even a voice alert could be sent real time - VOIP.
> 
> I have no idea how the power usage would be handled in that case - the
> continuous  pinging could drain the battery too quickly depending on how
> it's done. But there is the challenge!
> 
> --
> Stephen Barncard - Sebastopol Ca. USA -
> mixstream.org
> 
> On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 3:25 PM, William Prothero via use-livecode <
> use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
> 
>> Thanks. Looks interesting. It also looks like I'd have to learn a lot to
>> get it implemented. I’ve been using cURL to access an API for water meter
>> readings, and it’s painful, but would probably get easier.
>> 
>> This looks like a good provider, tho.
>> Best,
>> Bill P
>> 
>>> On Aug 14, 2017, at 1:42 PM, Simon Smith via use-livecode <
>> use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>> I would look at push notifications. onesignal.com looks quiet good, just
>>> not had a chance to play with it yet.
>>> 
>>> I have found that SMS messages are too unreliable when it comes to
>>> emergency notifications, sometimes they come through, sometimes they
>> don't
>>> and sometimes they come through an hour or so later.
>>> 
>>> Simon
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Carpe diem
>>> 
>>> *Simon Smith*
>>> m. +27 83 306 7862
>>> 
>>> On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 9:19 PM, ELS prothero via use-livecode <
>>> use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> I’m curious. Has anybody done much with push notifications on mobile?
>>>> There is a lesson on the livecode web site which is quite detailed, but
>>>> leaves out the server side of the equation. I have been thinking about
>> an
>>>> emergency alert app and am exploring how difficult it would be to
>> implement
>>>> various communication technologies. Texts seem pretty straighforward,
>> but I
>>>> was thinking that push notifications might get more attention.
>>>> 
>>>> The goal is to get the information to the recipient’s brain. It can get
>> to
>>>> the device, but unless the last (weak link) is traversed, the alert is
>>>> ineffective. The target time for this is 15 minutes.
>>>> 
>>>> I’ve Googled the heck out of these topics and there are really nice
>>>> expensive services that can do the job, but we don’t want to pay the
>> high
>>>> fees. Others are marketing oriented, not optimized for emergency
>> services.
>>>> A custom app could be ideal, especially with increasing wildfire
>> activity
>>>> worldwide.
>>>> 
>>>> Ideas and info?
>>>> Best,
>>>> Bill
>>>> 
>>>> William Prothero, PhD
>>>> Professor Emeritus
>>>> University of California, Santa Barbara
>>>> http://earthlearningsolutions.org
>>>> 
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