“i-PROTECT” PROJECT - Carabinieri Corps
On Friday, 3 July 2015 at 11.30am at the sala Colucci di Unione Confcommercio in Milan and in the presence of Gen. D. Pasquale Lavacca, Beretta S.p.A. and Intellitronika S.r.l. have presented the “i-PROTECT” project, an innovative personal protection system specifically designed to reduce the response time of the Operations Centre regarding intervention, support and assistance, thus raising the security level of citizens and law enforcement personnel.
The system, designed by the Fabbrica d'Armi Beretta as part of a research project with the University of Brescia and funded by the Ministry of Economic Development, was jointly developed with Intellitronika, a company specialising in the design of computer systems and communications.
The system includes the new “Beretta PX4 Storm-i” pistol, calibre 9x19mm, a special double safety holster with magnetic actuators and a smartphone with an application called “ODINO 5”that integrates the firearm into the control system.
The applicationprovides real-time information to the Operations Centre on the status of the weapon and location of the user, enabling decisions to be taken immediately and deploying all appropriate measures to ensure immediate support to the men on the ground, such as, for example, the activation of an environmental recording system or sending out support patrols.
Representing constructive synergy between businesses and institutions, the system has been made possible by the developing companies on an experimental basis and at no cost to the Carabinieri Corps.
In fact, from 1 July until 31 August 2015, officers from the Milan Provincial Command, who have been selected because of their type of service, will test the potential of the system on the ground, aimed at raising the standards of personnel safety and reducing response times of Operations Centres in critical situations.
Before the trial, the officers and operators of the Operations Centre attended specific training aimed both at "familiarising" themselves with the new weapon – held by the Carabinieri Corps Weapons Training School – as well as using the system and its related equipment – which was held by Beretta SpA and Intellitronika srl.
Beretta S.p.A. is not only the oldest gun manufacturer in the world, but also the first company to apply electronics to defence and public safety, renewing a tradition of excellence and Italian pride that has lasted more than 500 years.
The i-PROTECT system is installed on the PX4 Storm pistols by inserting an electronic component into the body of the pistol, making use of the most modern micro-technologies, thus without interfering with the weight, balance, function and safety of the firearm. The system, through the use of sensors that do not interfere with the mechanics of the firearm, is able to detect the following states and events associated with the use of the firearm: firearm in the holster or extracted, armed or disarmed hammer and the firing of a gunshot.
Thanks to a modern Bluetooth Low Energy processor, the data is sent to the smartphone, which in turn, instantly sends the data to the respective Operations Centre, immediately updating the operative situation by performing a Near Field Communication tag – electronically identifying the weapon and storing data relating to the total number of shots fired - and an inertial measurement platform (Inertial Measurement Unit) equipped with an accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope.
To optimise the efficiency of the firearm, it is also possible to record the temperature and operating parameters, in order to allow better planning of routine and extraordinary maintenance.
Designed and built by the Carabinieri Corps in collaboration with "Intellitronika Srl", "ODINO" (Operational Device for Information, Networking and Observation) is an industry-leading safety device, assisting citizens, but also the police.
The system is integrated into a multi-touch device and connectivity is guaranteed thanks to modern technology such as 4G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The device is placed in the dashboard of the vehicle and linked up through a dedicated system. The absence of cables and wires makes installation easy on all vehicles.
In short, the system sends its coordinates to the Operations Centre and the operators are able to see in real time where the patrol vehicles are located throughout the area, allowing for quick and efficient intervention in emergency situations.
In addition, the video streaming module allows to send videos in real time to the Operations Centre and, if there is no connection, to record photos and videos on the device.
Then through an instant bi-directional messaging system, encrypted communication is exchanged securely between the officers "on the road" and the Operations Centre.
Access is in real time for the main national databases (SDI, Motor Vehicles Department and ANIA), making it possible to check people and vehicles (main features, state of revisions and insurance coverage). The information is safely and instantly accessible, directly from the device. An operator who gains access by doing a search, receives the data in an easy-to-read format that is also customisable, based on the specific operative needs. When reporting a suspicious person, the system has a special screen to alert the user of a potential hazard.
With the push of a button, an alarm signal is transmitted to the Operations Centre: This procedure automatically transmits video and audio, allowing the Operations Centre staff to view the situation in real time. GPS provides useful data that can be used to manage the alarms.