San Diego tech company helps protect runners in Boston

Handheld radios used by National Guardsmen

SAN DIEGO - On the heels of celebrating a San Diego man's victory at Monday's Boston Marathon, a local company is celebrating the success of its technology in helping keep the race safe.

It is no bigger than a cellphone, but the mobile ad-hoc is the most advanced wireless communications system in the country. The handheld radios can relay to each other inside a secure network without the need for a cellphone site or access point.

"We basically were trying to solve a problem that a number of primarily government agencies were having in getting communication in difficult locations," said TrellisWare President and CEO Tom Carter.

TrellisWare is a San Diego-based technologies company that developed the radios that were first used during the NFL's Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

The radios were used by hundreds of National Guardsmen that lined the 26.2-mile marathon course on Monday.

"They are using them to tell where everything is. If there is a problem, they can find out where and get people to safety," said Carter.

The radio not only is an advancement in audio communication among the Guardsmen, but it is also visual as well, with the capability to stream live video and a GPS system that Google Maps tracks to show where every unit is during the event.

"It gives them a secure and private network to communicate and detect a problem," said Carter.

The radios are fairly new and mainly used by the military, but Carter would like to see them in the hands of all first responders.

"We are hopeful that more first responders will pick this up and use them during natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes so they can have a reliable network to provide support," said Carter.

For now, supporting those at the Boston Marathon is a huge step in making a difference in public safety.

"We can come here to work and know that we are making a difference in making people's life safer and even maybe the nation," said Carter.

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