Date Added: Jun 2011
Opportunistic communications (oppcomms) use low-cost human wearable mobile nodes allowing the exchange of packets at a close range of a few to some tens of meters with limited or no infrastructure. Typically cheap pocket devices which are IEEE 802.15.4-2006 compliant can be used and they can communicate at 2m to 10m range, with local computational capabilities and some local memory. In this paper, the authors consider the application of such devices to emergency situations when other means of communication have broken down. This paper evaluates whether oppcomms can improve the outcome of emergency evacuation in directing civilians safely. They describe an autonomous Emergency Support System (ESS) based on oppcomms to support evacuation of civilians in a built environment such as a building or supermarket.