Verizon and Dedrone showcase application for first responders
Verizon has been very active with drone technology, using drones as flying cell sites and for network testing. The carrier has also purchased a drone management firm. But Verizon knows that drones can have a dark side as well.
For example, at a fire in California’s San Bernardino Mountains, a 10,800-gallon drop of fire retardant had to be called off because of a drone. The sighting of the illegal aircraft prompted authorities to recall all aircraft battling the fire, and brought an immediate halt to the delivery of fire retardant and stopped other missions that were planned that day. A $75,000 reward was announced for information that would identify the pilot, who, to date, has yet to be identified.
These are the threats that startup Dedrone wants to address with its DroneTracker technology, and industry is interested. Verizon Wireless invited Dedrone to be part of its Operation Convergent Response last week, giving the startup an opportunity to showcase how DroneTracker can help first responders by clearing airspace of unwanted drones. When first responders or relief workers want to use drones to photography a site or deliver supplies, Dedrone’s software platform can detect aerial intrusions and provides early warning. The company is marketing its solution to data centers, prisons, airports and other facilities where drones are not wanted. Dedrone’s software was used last year at the presidential debates, and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Deutsche Telekom, Singtel and Airbus are all Dedrone resellers. Deutsche Telekom, which owns a majority stake in T-Mobile US, markets the anti-drone service to business customers under the name Magenta drone defense shield. In addition to the Dedrone technology, the solution portfolio also includes a frequency scanner from Rohde & Schwarz, microphone arrays from Squarehead, radar equipment from Robin Radar Systems, and jammer technology from HP Wüst.
In addition to Chambers, Dedrone has enlisted a number of other high profile investors. Dominic Orr, CEO of Aruba Networks, Selina Lo, CEO of Ruckus Wireless, Hans Robertson, co-founder and COO of Meraki, Tom Noonan, former chairman, president and CEO of Internet Security Systems, and Trevor Healy, former CEO of Jajah and Amobee, are all Dedrone investors.
Verizon’s Operation Convergent Response was open to invitees only. Verizon’s partners in the event included Nokia, The Guardian Centers, and Aegex. The company said the execries offered participants the opportunity to “experience the visceral reality of major disasters while observing how existing and emerging technologies might be applied to solve highly complex problems.”