[extropy-chat] Worldwide SOS system

kevinfreels.com kevin at kevinfreels.com
Thu Oct 6 16:07:48 UTC 2005

This is a nice, productive thread, but one thing in missing -
infrastructure. What use is a worldwide SOS system if you are lost in the
Andes and no one can get to you? How many people at any given moment are in
a state of emergency that would require such a system? What constitutues an
emergency? Surely "lost at sea" but what about people who have houses
burning down? Floods? War?
In the US, we dial 911 and get a cop, ambulance, or fire truck, but what if
local resources are overwhelmed? Would 100000 people suddenly be dialing
into a worldwide SOS system? How do calls get routed to the proper
authorities? How is a disaster such as the Tsunami handled differently from
a mountain climber that broker his leg? Consider the following:
A skier is buried under the snow from an avalanche. The SOS goes out, is
received and transmitted to the nearest authority - which also happens to be
under 30 ft of snow.
The technology seems to be there for some kind of relatively simple SOS
device built into other devices. I especially like the idea of generating
power from the flip of the cell phone. It's one of those "Gee, why didn't I
think of that?" moments. It seems to me that there are countless issues that
are much more complicated than the device itself. I'd like to see some of
your thoughts on this.

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