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911 emergency calls could soon be video chats

911 emergency calls could soon be video chats
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Applications like FaceTime and Skype are perfect for bringing people together. With the popular video chat technology, no matter where two people are in the world, they can have a face-to-face conversation, whether it is to catch up and share stories, or for important work meetings.

But now, for the first time ever, the technology has been integrated into Israel's emergency response systems, meaning there could soon be a new standard for calling 911 here in the states.

The new system was developed by a high-powered startup called Reporty, which is headed by former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Barak. It allows for Israeli responders to see live video from their callers with smartphones, which will, in theory, allow them to better assess the situation and can also grab valuable location data, via smartphone app.

The hope is that the video calls cut down on response times and help reduce the wasted time on butt-dials, which in turn will hopefully save more lives. The system will also be able to accept text messages.

Israel is the first country to implement the technology nationwide.

Video calling is the next natural step in the progression, since we've been able to text 911 in certain cities in the States since 2014. If the system is a success, the tech could soon find its way to police, fire and ambulance services all over the world. In fact, Barak hinted at all its possibilities in a statement:

"Reporty also introduces new ways of connecting with family and friends and I believe that with time the company will continue to develop more interesting uses. Among them: live feeds from the scene for reporters looking to be first to report an event, a communications tool for global, decentralized organizations that operate in high-risk areas, and reliable communication anywhere during critical moments."

What do you think? Is this a game changer? Let me know your thoughts by posting in the comments below.

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