iOREF: The New Israeli Home Front Mobile Application

Published: October 26th 2010
in News » Israel

Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip.

Coming soon to mobile phones: Israel's Home Front Command (HFC) has devised a new elaborate solution to forewarn citizens against rocket launches fired at Israeli territory, and it goes by the name of- iOREF.


The new mobile application, whose name is Hebrew for "iHome- Front,” is currently being developed by Israel's HFC, along with some private hi-tech companies and the Israeli Ministry of Communications. According to plans, as soon as next year, the system will be operational and seven million Israeli mobile owners could make use of it, without any charge.


The iOREF application would allow users to adjust the warning's sound and the screen display in case of a rocket attack, in a manner that suits the device's owner. The application developers and the mobile carriers are currently engaged in talks, surrounding what will be the cost of downloading the application as well as choosing a body which will provide technical support for the app. Nevertheless, the IDF insists it should be available for download for free.


The system, which is based on technology developed by the American FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), will identify which cellular phones are in the estimated rocket hit radius and after ten seconds will cause the mobiles to flicker, vibrate, ring and display an appropriate on- screen message for the citizen. In the future, the HFC plans to reduce the warning time to underneath six seconds, precious and valuable time when seeking a shelter.


The system is planned to work on all Israeli mobile carriers, except for "Mirs,” which is the most popular carrier among military personal. The network does, however, plan to launch new phones which will be compatible with the technology used by the application.


"The meaning of this system is vast and profound. Basically it will give very precise warnings, thus allowing the citizens to carry on with their lives,” said Lieutenant Colonel Levy Itach from the HFC.


The army also predicts the system will be productive in days of peace as well - new features could allow the app to warn against deadly earthquakes. In the future, the plan is to expand to the Internet and Television as well.


"This is a unique and rare system in the world. Besides the use of Pikud Ha'oref [HFC], the system has great potential- warnings against heavy traffic, which will be provided by the police and warnings against adjacent blazing fires which will be provides by firefighters,” said Lt Col Gil Hofman.


In the meantime, the HFC plans to improve warning systems currently deployed in Israel in the next couple of years. The change will lead to smaller and smaller areas being frightened by sudden alarms and the alarms will sound only in areas which are in actual danger. "The meaning is that we could predict the hit location more precisely and forewarn only the relevant citizens,” added Lt Col Itach.


In conclusion, an innovative and unique solution which will help save lives and allow citizens to live their lives with much more freedom, which terror unfortunately targets, and can so often steal.

Related articles: (iOREF, rocket, alarm, missile, launch, HFC)
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