Tampa authorities use a new Super Bowl security system

Published 2 February 2009

The system uses a software program called E-SPONDER, which is built into Microsoft Surface, a tabletop, touch-screen display

There were no wardrobe malfunctions in yesterday’s super bowl, so in addition to the game the important news was the new security system employed by the Tampa, Florida authorities — Microsoft’s Surface display — to offer better protections to the tens of thousands who converged on the city.

Experts have spent the past year building a sophisticated security system for Super Bowl XLIII. Brittany Sauser writes that the system allowed security personnel at the event remotely to track all activities on and off the field. It was also used to plan events and report incidents. The system uses a software program called E-SPONDER, which is built into Microsoft Surface, a tabletop, touch-screen display. The device shows a Microsoft Virtual Earth map of the event area and it is multi-touch, multi-user interface which lets security personnel zoom in and display a 3-D image of the city, a street, or even a building with a quick hand motion. The system also has built-in communications so that controllers can stay in contact with personnel on the ground.

Here is more information from Microsoft’s release:

Additionally, Twisted Pair Solutions, Inc will provide secure, real-time group communications and interoperability for two-way radio systems and other devices using its WAVE software technology. Fully integrated with E-SPONDER and leveraging Microsoft’s Office Communications Server platform, all law enforcement personnel can quickly see who is available and communicate with them using Instant Messaging, PC to PC Voice, video conferencing and PC-to radio/walkie-talkie methods. This unmatched capability, being used largely in the defense and first responder fields, allows for any user of E-SPONDER to immediately communicate with resources not only in the command center, but directly in the field.

The video below shows Tampa Incident Commander Major Bennett explaining the technology.