NEW YORK: Shelley Spector's campaign to develop a text-messaging system that would warn people of an imminent terrorist attack has been rewarding, yet frustrating.
Spector, president of Spector & Associates, has applied for a patent for an idea she developed after September 11. The plan calls for the government and telecommunications industry to use short-message-service technology - which uses less bandwidth than voice - to alert people of an emergency and to spread official instructions.
"[After the September 11 attacks], people were wandering through the streets, wondering what to do," said Spector. "This would provide one reliable source of information."
And while Spector has found the government and telecom companies receptive, none have been willing to take the first step.
"We need an 800-pound gorilla to advocate this," said Rich Wagner, the firm's Washington GM. "We need someone to be a leader and risk taker. We haven't seen that yet."