CommandWear Systems’ rise to success: Technology start-ups accelerate in Canada with the help of Wavefront
We’ve had a long-standing partnership with Wavefront, a Vancouver-based, non-profit business incubator and accelerator. To mark this week’s Wavefront Summits, we sat down with Mike Morrow, CEO of CommandWear Systems to learn about their business and working with Wavefront.
What is CommandWear Systems and how do you work with first responders in the wake of natural (and man-made) disasters?
Having spent 25 years developing crisis management software systems and working alongside first responders, CommandWear chose to tackle critical problems that inhibit responders’ ability to keep us safe and also keep themselves alive in an emergency.
CommandWear offers a secure web-based application that Commanders and Dispatchers can use on any PC or tablet to locate and communicate on the frontlines by using smartphones and wearable technology (e.g. smartwatches). The system works even when cellular networks are overloaded and the software can function in areas where no communications exist at all. It’s extremely simple to use and requires no more than a 1 minute orientation. All data is recorded in a database so organizations can review events and incorporate learnings.
How did you come up with the idea to create a wearable technology for the public safety industry?
I saw wearable technology as a way for responders to remain heads-up and hands-free to do their job. We started looking at heads-up displays (smart glasses) but quickly realized that the smartwatch was the best form factor for messaging. We are testing new wearable technology and will certify only what stands up to the challenging environments first responders work in.
What organizations can benefit from using your solution?
Any public safety agency or security organization that requires situational awareness within an urban or rural environment. Police, fire and emergency medical services are the primary users of our system to date but we are getting interest from security services companies and organizations that have workers operating in remote or hazardous environments.
How has working with Wavefront and Rogers helped your business?
The Wavefront Acceleration Program has been valuable in providing R&D funding, mentoring and introductions to key partners and investors. Rogers is a Wavefront partner and this naturally led us to discussions around how CommandWear and Rogers can collaborate on projects to ensure responders stay connected by bundling Rogers’ devices and network infrastructure and services.
What’s next for CommandWear?
2015 is the year we roll-out the solution in North America. Organizations like the RCMP and San Diego are using our solution today and this year the goal is to leverage our successes and apply learnings to rapidly enhance our solution offerings and value. Success in North America will also allow us to expand globally in 2016 since response organizations around the world collaborate closely and are always looking for proven solutions.
This week at the Wavefront Summits in Ottawa, IoT and technology industry leaders, businesses and developers will converge to discuss different ways Canadian businesses like CommandWear Systems are embracing mobile technology and the Internet of Things.
Follow the conversation along at @RogersBiz #WFSummits.