The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revealed that the Commercial Mobile Alert System, aimed to deliver targeted alerts in case of emergencies, will be launched in New York and Washington by late this year.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that the system will deliver the alerts from government agencies in case of emergencies like natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
The plan, which was approved by the U.S. Congress in 2006, involves a special chip implanted in mobile phones which allows the device to receive alerts to be directly displayed on its home screen rather than in a conventional SMS.
The FCC revealed that some mobile phones already have the chip while all mobile phones in the U.S. in the future are expected to have the said chip.
“These are really focused on the highest levels of alerts, and those that require urgent action,” Genachowski said explaining that the alerts will be targeted based on the location of the device and the urgency of an alert for that certain area.
“Government officials can send alerts in the event of major disasters, can do it on a localized basis, and can make sure that the alerts get through even if there’s network congestion,” the chairman said, according to Bloomberg.