RIOS Graphical User Interface

SyTech’s interoperability experience has shown ease-of-use to be the single most important factor for providing effective interoperability. For this reason, SyTech designed the RIOS Interface to be an intuitive, icon-based interoperability experience that instantly conveys the most important information with real-time action and display.
The RIOS Graphical User Interface

With RIOS, a picture says a thousand words. For example, transmitting assets flash red, receiving assets flash green, patches are shown as cluster groups and radios, cameras, smartphones and computers actually look like radios, cameras, smartphones and computers. With RIOS, the operator can immediately see an entire communications landscape and respond with limited effort. Combine RIOS with a touchscreen display for added usability and an even quicker response.

Basic Overview

The graphic below illustrates the RIOS workspace. Within the workspace, all assets, functions and elements are displayed within a single interface. The top row of the GUI graphically represents the entry point devices physically connected to the I/O chassis of the RIOS Gateway. The second row of the GUI graphically represents the virtual assets connected via IP to the RIOS Server. The large buttons at the bottom of the GUI represent the Function of RIOS–the basic building blocks of all the actions within RIOS.

RIOS Interoperability - Basic Overview - ReducedSyTech has trained hundreds of law enforcement, first responders, dispatchers and military personnel. In most cases, first-time system users can learn 80% of RIOS functionality within the first 10 minutes of training. In the real world, SyTech understands that the people we train today may not be the user of tomorrow; hence, it is of highest importance that the system is intuitive and easy to learn for first-time users and operators with limited time and training.

Cluster Groups

As a grouping interface, RIOS graphical user interface, known as the RIOS GUI, represents all audio patches, dispatch groups and video groups as cluster elements to simplify the complexities of mixed-mode communications. The video below outlines the RIOS Interface as well as how to create local and wide-area groups.

RIOS goes beyond traditional audio patching by delivering more functionality for interconnected cluster groups. The graphic below illustrates a RIOS Interface with three types of cluster groups; an Audio Patch, a Video Push, and a Dispatch Group. The following section describes these other types of groups in greater detail.

GUI - Various Types of Cluster Groups within RIOSTraditional Audio Patch

The first type of cluster group, a traditional audio patch, simply connects two or more disparate communication networks together—for example an 800 MHz radio to a VHF radio. All interoperability gateways provide this ability to some degree. The RIOS Server and the RIOS Interface go one step further with interoperated groups to represent this patch as a functional cluster group.

In the graphic below, a traditional audio patch has been created between two mobile radios physically connected to the RIOS Server. With the patch in place, audio received by one of the mobile radios will be transmitted through the patch and re-broadcast to the disparate radio entry point also connected to the RIOS Server. The corresponding patch results in interoperability between two traditionally noncompatible radio networks. The user can quickly see what’s taking place within the patch as indicated by the color coding.

Traditional Audio PatchIf the user wants to delete the patch or remove a radio group from the patch, the user selects the Break Function from the Function Menu (located in the bottom row of the GUI) and proceeds to (1) select the individual radio groups to be removed from the patch or (2) selects the center node of the cluster group to delete the group. Next, the user confirms the selection by deselecting the Break Function and the patch is removed from the screen.

Dispatch/Command Group

RIOS Dispatch or Command Groups allow the user to direct audio traffic from multiple channels into a single computer workstation or radio group. As opposed to an audio patch whereby “everybody hears everybody”, Dispatch Groups allow radio channels to function as normal while “funneling” radio traffic to the RIOS Client Workstation or a set-aside tactical or operational channel.

Dispatch Groups place the RIOS Client Workstation as the point device while Command Groups place a radio channel, telephone or iDEN device at the point. Both groups are created in the same manner with the only difference being the point device.

In the graphic above, a Dispatch Group is created with five radio families funneling audio to the computer. In the first panel, notice how the receiving radio (green) is transmitting to ONLY the receiving computer (red). In this panel, the computer is monitoring the radio traffic from these assets. However, in the second panel, the computer is multicasting to all groups within the group by pressing the center node of the Dispatch Group.

GUI - RIOS Workstation Monitoring and TXing to a Channel
In a Command Group, the radio, not the computer, is the point device. With this arrangement, all radio traffic is funneled to a single radio frequency. The result is an interoperated channel where the point radio has the ability to hear multiple radio channels without giving up the ability to monitor their primary channel. Should the point radio desire to transmit to all radio channels within the Command Group, the user simply keys the radio and speaks to all connected channels. This is a very powerful feature and unique to the RIOS ICS.

Dispatch Groups and Command Groups are a great way to provide real-world interoperability without creating interference on operational channels. It is a frequently-used feature and should be highly considered when selecting an interoperability gateway.

Private Connections/Nested Groups

Private Connections refer to nested connections between cluster groups within the RIOS GUI. Private Connections allow cluster groups to stay intact while providing a means to offer a temporary connection, should the need arise.

In the graphic below, a private connection is made between a Kenwood radio and a Harris radio. Note the “1” token on each asset used to indicate a private connection. If a second private connection were made, a “2” token would be used and so on.

When audio is received by an asset within the private connection, the corresponding audio will be passed through the RIOS ICS and transmitted to its assigned location. In this example, the Kenwood radio is receiving audio (green) and, as a result of the private connection, transmitting through the Harris radio (red). Notice how no other radio group is affected within the cluster groups.

GUI - Nested Patch within RIOS
Wide-Area Cluster Groups

Wide-Area Cluster Groups visually represent a wide-area patch created within the RIOS Wide-Area Network. In the graphic below a Multi-Site RIOS GUI is shown with six (6) RIOS ICSs connected across an IP network.

Three cluster groups are shown in this graphic: a four-way cluster group, a wide-area cluster group, and a dispatch cluster group. The group containing the radio entry point with the blue band represents a wide-area cluster group. This particular radio is locally interfaced to the RIOS ICS highlighted in blue. The local ICS is the green site with the small home icon labeled “RIOS 1.” Color coding options within the RIOS GUI allow the user to quickly see which assets are patched and to which RIOS ICS the resource belongs.

When configured for a RIOS Wide-Area Network, the user can select any site from the site list and see, monitor, transmit, patch and affect the remote asset relative to user’s permission set. For more on wide-area controls, please review “The RIOS Wide-Area Network.”

GUI - Wide-Area Connectins within RIOS
Video Cluster Groups

A Video Cluster Group directs IP video streams to a desired IP location. Especially useful in low bandwidth environments, Video Clusters multicast IP video streams to RIOS Client Workstations or RIOS Lite Smartphones.

In the graphic below, the RIOS ICS is accepting an IP video stream in Port 21, the fifth Virtual Port from the left. The system user has created a Video Cluster Group with three smartphones running the RIOS Lite Application. With this arrangement, the smartphone users are now able to view the IP video stream from their handheld device.

GUI - RIOS Video Viewer with RIOS Lite Smartphone Relay
Video Clusters can operate in the “push” video mode (shown above) or “pull” video mode. In the pull video mode, the RIOS ICS receives an IP video feed from the RIOS Lite Smartphone Application. When the RIOS ICS receives an IP video stream, the system user has the ability to view the feed and/or record it with the RIOS Integrated Recording Software Plug-In Module.

Resulting Ease-of-Use

SyTech has trained hundreds of law enforcement, first responders, dispatchers and military personnel. In most cases, first-time system users can learn 80% of RIOS functionality within the first 10 minutes of training. In the real world, SyTech understands that the people we train today may not be the user of tomorrow; hence, it is of highest importance that the system is intuitive and easy to learn for first-time users and operators with limited time and training.