When a sniper pulls the trigger, everyone hits the dirt and looks for cover. The problem is that if you don’t know where the shot came from you can’t be sure you’re actually out of sight. How could your smartphone help you to know whether you’ve actually gotten to safety or if you are still out in the open? Engineers have researched a new means to determine where shots are fired from.

This technology has already been in place for soldiers for several years – helmets with built-in microphones link together to form a network, and the distance and direction of the sound of the shot can then be determined to pinpoint accuracy. But this doesn’t help local police enforcement or security agencies who either don’t wear helmets, or simply don’t have the funding for such technological advancements.

This is where smartphones come in, as the same process can be duplicated using sound detection from the cell phones of officers or guards. Of course, this means it takes a team to triangulate the source of the blast – one device alone won’t do the task, but if all of the officers in a squad have their phones linked the process should work in the same manner.

The device uses bluetooth to transmit data back and forth between each phone. Size-wise it resembles a deck of playing cards, enabling each member of a force to carry it on their person easily. The phones do the rest by communicating with one another and positioning the source of the gunfire.

There are two versions available dependent upon the number of units being used and the range required. With six units the device can give an exact location, but the other version can function with just two phones if merely a general location of the shooter is sufficient. Such devices may prove to be lifesaving for local law enforcement agencies.