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New York Testing Console-Based Alert System

InformationWeek reports that state officials are now eying game networks as a way to reach younger residents with emergency warnings. The state of New York may be the first to implement the new Emergency Management Office warning system, and is currently undergoing tests. New York State Deputy CIO Rico Singleton said that the state looks to reach gamers camped on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii.

The announcement came yesterday during the Interop technology conference in New York City. The idea is to tap into the console networks--namely Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, and the Nintendo Wi-Fi network--and deliver urgent warning regarding to natural and man-made disasters.

Unfortunately, Singleton didn't provide any additional details on how the EMO will infiltrate console networks, or when the new system will come out of its testing phase. However, the console-based warning system is just one of many components that comprise New York State's new Empire 2.0 program.

According to InformationWeek, New York's Department of Mental Health also has a new monitoring system within the Empire 2.0 program. This system monitors Facebook posts in an effort to spot suicidal behavior. Other Empire 2.0 programs include the Office of Homeland Security's use of Second Life to train 700K first responders, and the state CIO's office use of Twitter to disseminate "information about technology initiatives to the public."

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