Press Coverage

Polaris Wireless Altus Solution Helps Find the Bad Guys

On the popular Keifer Sutherland show 24, agent Jack Bauer used every tool in his arsenal to try and stop terrorists from committing heinous acts against the United States of America.

On the popular Keifer Sutherland show 24, agent Jack Bauer used every tool in his arsenal to try and stop terrorists from committing heinous acts against the United States of America. Bauer and his colleagues at the Counter Terrorist Unit had access to a lot more than just guns and fast cars, too. This 21st century team utilized a number of high tech computer and telecommunications devices and solutions to track the bad guys and thwart their plans. That show was, of course, fiction, but the new Altus application from Polaris Wireless is just the kind of solution Jack Bauer could have used in his hunt for the bad guys.

Because high-accuracy wireless location is critical to the war on terror and crime, Polaris set out to create an application suite that offers government agencies the ability to locate and track multiple targets with extreme accuracy. According to Bhavin Shah, vice president of marketing and business development at Polaris, the solution can track all subscribers on a wireless network, allowing authorities to identify all phone subscribers in a defined area. This solution allows for geo-fencing, predictive and post-event analysis and mass-target tracking to give an advantage to authorities in their battle against the bad guys.

Altus is a software-based solution that relies on a chip that exists in each phone, so it is not reliant on cell towers or special applications. It processes the RF data that any phone sends to a network and then runs a pattern match in a database, allowing authorities to match a subscriber to a particular phone. When a phone is on and in coverage, the solution can hone in on it in a matter of seconds, not even requiring line of sight.

One application of this technology is geo-fencing. The solution can throw up a net around an area as small as 50-meters (such as a single hotel) and Z-axis functionality is coming, which would allow the authorities to track criminals to a particular floor. Altus can also "white list" phones that are authorized to be in a particular location, so, for example, the devices of bodyguards and secret service agents will be weeded out, leaving only unknown and potentially suspicious devices.

Shah also stated that the solution can track movement patterns, to see if particular phones are moving together, which will allow authorities to analyze associations between known and unknown individuals. The solution can be used in thwarting assassination attempts, tracking drug users, finding culprits of terrorist attacks or even sending SMS alerts to blanket areas that may be affected by a natural disaster.

The solution is already deployed in parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and is being used by local police in Richmond, Virginia as well. Shah stated that Altus can integrate with third-party systems, IP cameras and more to help security personal know what screen to focus on. It even has applications in the E911 sector.

It is, in short, a useful and versatile tool that can help government agencies track bad guys before or after they take action. If Jack Bauer had been able to access this technology, perhaps the "longest days of his life" would have been over in just a few hours instead of the full 24...