what3words has divided the globe into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three random words: a what3words address. For example, ///setting.adjusted.derailed will take you to the entrance of the AIIMS Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre in New Delhi. The what3words app is free to download for both iOS and Android devices, and works offline, making it ideal for use in areas with unreliable data connection. what3words can also be used via the online map at what3words.com.
The technology is available in over 50 languages, including 12 South Asian languages: Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada, Nepali, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Odia, and Punjabi. If a caller doesn’t have the what3words app, call handlers can share an SMS with a link to what3words.com which allows the caller to retrieve the what3words address for their exact location and recite it over the phone. The technology will save dispatchers and responders precious time and resources in an emergency, and in some cases, save lives.
The what3words technology is already being used by over 120 emergency services control centres around the world in the UK, US, Australia, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Singapore, Canada, India, and South Africa to locate people in need. Medulance is already seeing the benefits of using what3words, and how it can shave precious minutes off emergency response times. For example, in Delhi, a caller needed to book an ambulance for his grandparents who are residents of Kamatchi Amman Kovil St, Puducherry. Using what3words, the elderly patients were able to communicate their precise location to the Medulance drivers, who were able to locate them with ease. The patients were treated and have made a full recovery.
Medulance has also found what3words to be useful in parts of Southern and North East India. In remote locations, callers can struggle to describe their exact location without any identifiable landmarks or street addresses to guide them. With what3words, Medulance are operating more efficiently in rural areas, and provide assistance to victims in distress.