U.S. firefighters and police turn to an Israeli app to save lives

On the fly
Before long, DJI’s public-safety officer and authorities from American fire and police departments approached Edgybees about adapting the technology for real environments.

“Over 1,000 police departments in the US are now using drones in lieu of helicopters,” says Kaplan. But drones lacked a technology for real-time mapping over video, and this is exactly what Edgybees could provide.

Just when the company started testing the app with several police and fire departments, hurricane season hit Florida.

“We were asked if our software could help, so we had to work 24/7 to get it up and running,” says Kaplan. “We had the maps working offline because they had no cell-phone coverage.”

Kaplan will talk about the successful Florida deployment of First Response next week at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC, alongside Ryan English of Tampa-based FlyMotion, whose drone operators used the app to orient rescuers during Hurricane Irma.

Edgybees works with a host of public-safety companies and government agencies through distribution agreements with DJI and others.

Expanding to other markets
A $5.5 million seed round completed this week will help Edgybees expand to commercial sectors that use high-speed imaging, such as real estate, urban planning, smart cities, construction, automotive, broadcast media and security.

While Apple and Google have launched AR kits for phones, Edgybees’ technology is a sort of unique AR kit for full-motion video streaming from drones, cars and CCTV, says Kaplan.

“What started as technology powering a racing game is now saving lives around the world. The overwhelming response by commercial and industrial drone users looking to leverage AR, and partner with us in the fields of fire, public safety, and search-and-rescue has been amazing, and we can’t wait to expand the next set of drone applications into new markets.”

One backer, Verizon Ventures, is interested in Edgybees’ ability to bring AR to its car and drone fleet management as well as immersive consumer digital experiences. Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, OurCrowd and 8VC also invested in the seed round.

Edgybees’ development team is situated in an Israeli beach town near Kfar Vitkin – because drones may not be flown in cities – and the company is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

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Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c.This article is published courtesy of Israel21c