Ryan Singel investigates how the ability to text 9-1-1 could increase efficiency for emergency responders:

The last real overhaul of 911 by the FCC came in 2001, when mobile carriers were required to allow 911 to identify the location of callers either through GPS or cell-tower data. ... But the 911 system still can’t handle text messages, multimedia messages or streaming video, all of which could be very helpful to first responders. A system that could handle those messages would also allow people to report crimes without being overheard, which could be useful in situations ranging from kidnapping to seeing someone being robbed on the street.

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