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Amazing Fire Alarm Technology

21 Apr

I had some time to sit and listen to the people from HiTech Integrated Solutions, a fire alarm, security and sprinkler company in Houston Texas, about a new product that amazed me. See I was looking for close to home technology that I could locate and not have to quote someone’s website and basically repeat someone who has sales pitched their news article. Soooo I called around and asked if I could ask a few places some questions. Of course I am a bit simple minded when using a telephone book (if it does not have a screen, my imagination is quite limited). So I headed straight to looking for anything with the word tech in it’s name that was located here in Houston. I stumbled upon ” HiTech Integrated solutions” . I called and spoke to a little lady ( I forget her name) and she sent me right through to the owner of the company, Mr Dan Cooley.
I asked Dan If he could give me ideas as to what makes his company High Tech . You could hear the smile in his voice and tiny chuckle when he said ” Well, simply we have nothing in beta, but we do have Focal Point“.
Yeah Right away I hit google. Came across the only documentation on it, pdf .
Seems like no one actually has it yet.
Wait you will see why this is High Tech! ..
This is some sort of Monitoring software for fire alarms and what seems to be security also. I had to call back later and ask a few questions after the conversation with Dan, i got in touch with “Eric” the CEO of HiTech. Eric Told me that The owner of companies that purchase the plan, get this little tablet pc thing , so they themselves can see and monitor alarm activity on their location. This thing is amazing.
It allows the owner see specifically what room and what device is causing the alarm. I am not talking text notification. i mean an actual detailed blueprint of the building with devices properly located in simulation to the real alarm installation. if there is a smoke detector in the far east hall of the building two feet passed the last door on the left, you see that device on the blue print. If that specific device is detecting an alarm, it will notify the Fire Alarm Control Panel, The panel will then activate the “gateway card”, the gateway card (it’s in a pci slot looking thingy, on the control panel) will then notify the Focal Point Tablet Pc ViA Internet connection.
This Tablet Pc has Microsoft Windows Xp on it. Kinda cool. Has a start button and everything.
ok so far this fire alarm company is turning out pretty HiTech.
The signal is sent to the Tablet Pc In data Form and Translated back for the user to activate the images on the screen, showing the owner of the location exactly what device in what location is going into alarm.
So yeah, I had to drive up there, I wanted to see this thing in action.
Other than the glass being on the face of the machine, it looks really tough.big Rubber bumper pads on the corners and a leather casing that wraps around it. Some big pen stylus with a button on the side of it. I would prefer that large of a stylus anyway, would hate losing the little tiny stylus’ that comes with pdas.
Just had to test the protective casing (evil grin). for starts , I laid it face down to see how much clearance there was, to see if the screen is easy to scratch up. Exactly 1/2 an inch. That’s pretty good. You could lose a pen under there and not scratch the screen..
Weight and feel
I give this about 4-6 pounds of solid durable hard plastic, encasing steel.This thing is not a little mini laptop, this thing is not some little kid’s video game machine . This is made for the working people who are in the dirt (minus the exterior screen). Just keep it in it’s case while you are not using it.

While I was there, I spoke more with Dan Cooley and he showed me how the thing works. Dan walked me to this little tiny demo room they had near the Accounting Manager’s office. In this room they had smoke detectors, Horn/Strobes and plain strobes and multiple pull stations mounted on the wall. Mr Cooley then booted up the tablet pc and showed the scoop. He had this imaginary building drawn up looking like a futuristic castle. Dan then pulled down on the pull station and instantly we got notification that the pull station in the butler’s chamber had been triggered. That was cool. Right then, Dan’s phone rang and I could hear the guy on the end of the line laughing saying “our castle is burning up!” . It was HiTech’s IT guy, 400 miles away in Corpus Christi. He had notification at the exact same time as we did. Very impressive. They seemed like a happy bunch.
So basically the owner of the property will have notice to his tablet, before the monitoring company has a chance to call him, but not faster than the emergency teams can be contacted. i learned that the monitoring company is automated to make all contacts the instant a warning is made. This sounds like it saves lives and property a whole lot faster than just some dude named bubbah saying ‘hey you alright?” .
I have made requests for further interviews. The guys at HiTech said they would be happy to entertain, and may point me straight to Fci, so I can see more HiTech exclusive products before it can be advertised.
Focal Point was an amazing set up, but man, i swear that sounds like it used to be a M$ product.