The Commander is a browser-based app used to track people in the field and to send messages and photos/videos. The Commander also allows review (playback) of events. We call users of the Commander app “Commanders”.  This Help section is an overview of the Commander app.

The Hub is the cloud based server that stores and maintains data. We won’t be describing the Hub but just wanted you to know that it’s there and it securely stores data for each licensed customer.

The Communicator app is downloaded from Google Play, for Android 4.4.4+ devices, and Apple iTunes, for iOS 8+ iPhones.

The Communicator app allows a user to send and receive/acknowledge messages from their smartphone or smartwatch and auto-transmit their location (GPS). We call users of the Communicator app “Responders”. You can jump to the Communicator Help topic at any time using the links at the top of this page.

Getting Started On The Web (Commander)

Note: to access Help for the Communicator smartphone app, please go here.

To get started we go to the Commander login screen which is located here or by going to www.commandwear.com and selecting the Login button in the top right.

Login using the credentials provided to you by CommandWear.  Email addresses are not case sensitive but passwords are.Screenshot 2014-10-17 11.32.28

Main Menu

Once you are at the main menu, you have three choices (depending on the permissions granted by your administrator).

Screenshot 2014-10-17 10.02.58

Respond  is used by Commanders and takes you to a real time view of the map and any users that are logged in to the system and being tracked. If you are starting an operation, this is the place to go.

Review  is used to graphically play back events using historical data stored in the CommandWear Hub server. You can create a playback event before, during or after an actual operation and then play it back — like a movie or ‘instant replay’. This is often used for briefings or investigation.

Admin  will appear on the screen if you are granted administrator privileges. We discuss this next.


The Admin screen has several sections.

Your Organization  will only appear for the user who is the owner of the organization and contains billing information. 

Users is where you create and modify your organization’s users. A user can be either a Commander, Responder or Observer.

Groups allows you to organize teams of users to manage messaging and map display of groups.

Communicator Permissions allows you to control whether individual Communicator users can log out or turn tracking on/off.

Preset Commands is where you set up the preset commands the Commander can select to speed sending messages. This is optional.

Preset Responses is where you set up the responses you would like to have appear on a user’s Communicator app or on their smartwatch.

User/Devices Status shows the battery level, connectivity, software version(s), phone type and other information associated with each user device.

The first thing you will want to do when getting started is to create your users. If they have already been created for you, jump ahead to the RESPOND section.

To add a new user, click on the + on the Users button, described below.

Adding A User

Once you have selected Add, you will be presented with a set of fields.

Name is any text that you want displayed on the Commander screen for the user. We recommend you keep it brief (e.g. SGT M. Jones).

Email is what a user will enter to log in to either the Commander or the Communicator App. Email is not case sensitive. It needs to be unique in the system (you cannot have two users with the same email address) and does not have to be an actual email address (its the UserID in the CommandWear system).

Role identifies what kind of user this is. The three types of roles are

  1. ResponderThe responder is someone who logs in using the smartphone Communicator app. This type of user cannot log in as a Commander.
  2. ObserverObservers are able to log in to the Respond screen only and are not able to send messages (e.g. Viewers in your CommandWear system).
  3. CommanderThe Commander is someone who has the ability to log in to the Commander App, track locations of Responders and send messages to them. A Commander user can not log in on the phone (they can only login to the web browser app). If you want to have someone be able to log in to the web and the smartphone, you must create two separate users.

Info (e.g. phone number) is information displayed in the user detail view in the Commander app (phone number, certification/specialty or other useful info).

Callsign (recommend 4 characters or less) is what appears on the map icon for the user. It is important to make the callsign short, simple and obvious, we recommend no more than 4 alpha-numeric characters. You want to be able to immediately recognize the role and who is on the map by their callsign.

Color sets the background color of the user icon on the map. We recommend a bold colour that will stand out against the map background.

Text Color  sets the color of the text on the user icon. It should show up well against the color chosen above.

Password is the password the user will enter to access the app.  This should be based on the password policies and conventions of your organization (CommandWear restricts passwords to minimum 8 characters and not recently used). If you need to change the password, you would do this here as well.

Confirm Password is used to check that you’ve entered the password correctly.

Admin check this if you want this user to be able to add users and/or change capabilities (we recommend restricting this permission to only a couple of people in your oganization).

Archived is how you remove a user from the system. CommandWear does not actually delete users but puts them in the archive so that historical data is kept and a Replay can be run.

Save is selected once you are done, and you will see the user added to your system.


Respond is where Commanders will see their responders and communicate with them in real time.

RESPOND: Tracking Users and Sending Messages

When you want to see where everyone is and send them messages, click the Respond button from the home screen.

The respond view displays a (Google) map and any tracked responders.  The screen is simple by design but don’t worry, there are lots of things you can do here. The screen capture below describes key functions available.

When you want to see where everyone is and send them messages, go to the Respond button on the home screen.

Once you are in the respond view, you will have a very simple and uncluttered screen.

Every responder being tracked will be represented by an icon on the map.

The double arrow on the top left resizes the map to display all tracked resources. The + – buttons allow you to zoom the map. You can move the map at any time by clicking and holding the map and moving it using your mouse or finger.

There are a set of tabs on the right hand side of the screen that allow you to send messages, control map settings (satellite maps, clustering, accuracy circles, etc) and control the visibility of groups of users. The sections below will go through the functions on each tab.

RESPOND: Server Connectivity Issues

If there are network connectivity issues affecting the Commander apps ability to connect to the server, such as congestion or loss of service, a red arrow will appear in the bottom left corner of the map. A ‘server timeout’ counter will indicate how long the Commander app has been unable to reach the server.

The application will continue to try to reconnect every 5 seconds and there will not be disruption to the Commander web session during this timeout.  Importantly, when the server connectivity is re-established, Commander can continue to be used without need to log off or refresh the browser.

RESPOND: Responder List

When you want to see all the responders, click on the “person” icon on the right. It will pull out a bar showing you all of your responders.

Select the Broadcast Command to send a message to all the responders.

For each responder you will see:

  • Call sign (MM01).
  • Group – if they are assigned to one (Gastown).
  • Elapsed time since last GPS location update (25s).
  • The last message that was sent to them (Check In).
  • Last Message reply (Acknowledged).

RESPOND: GPS Update Timer and System Time Issue

It is important that the system time is as accurate as possible on all Commander and Responder devices. This is because some information is timestamped using the time on the device, and relative times (e.g. the number of seconds since an event) are calculated relative to the time on the device.

A very visible symptom of inaccurate device times is a GPS update counter that makes no sense – for example, a counter that is counting backwards. In this case, the time may be inaccurate on that phone, or on the Commander’s computer, or both.

When installing Communicator on a smartphone device, or when running the Commander web application on a tablet or laptop, ensure that ‘automatic time and date’ is enabled on that device.

RESPOND: Responder Details

When you select a responder in the list, you will see additional details such as their phone number and you will be able to:

  • Center Position to center the map on that responder’s position.
  • Send Command to send a command (message) to just that responder.

You will also see the complete message history for that user since you logged in as a Commander. Each message in the history will have:

  • Time Sent (09:55).
  • Message Sender (zDEM1).
  • Message Sent (Check In).
  • Time of Response (11:08).
  • Response (Acknowledged).

RESPOND: Sending a Command

To send a message, click on the Responders call sign and click Send Command.

Let’s walk through sending a message to one Responder. When you click Send Command, you will see a popup (pictured) that says “Command for <Responder>”, in our example “Miguel Desmond”.

To avoid typing, you have the option of selecting a Preset Command if your Administrator has created them. If you do not have Preset Commands, this area will be blank. If you select a Preset Command the text box will be filled with the text message set for that command (which may be different from the Preset Command button label).

Optionally, you can enter text into the text box or overwrite the default text message.

You can also send a picture using the +Attach Image  link below the text box. We will go over adding images later.

Then press Send.

Once you’ve sent the message, you will go back to the list of all the responders. The message you sent goes through several stages:Screenshot 2015-09-08 11.49.36

  1.  Sending (Elapsed Time 7s): the message is in the process of being sent by you. If the messages stays in a Sending state, it has not been delivered and the Responder may be offline (and the system will retry for a few minutes and indicate Not Sent if unsuccessful).
  2. Delivered (Elapsed Time 11s): the message has been delivered to the Responder’s phone.
  3. Responded To (Time 11:42): Once the responder has replied, you will see the response sent (Acknowledged) and the time it was delivered.

RESPOND: Sending an Image

To send an image with your Command (message), select the +Attach Image option in the command window. This will bring up an Image Gallery of all images available for sending. The next section, “RESPOND: Image Tab”, will describe how to upload images.Screenshot 2015-09-08 13.31.56

The text that is associated with the image will be automatically entered in the text field of the message. This text can be deleted or changed.

Select Send and the picture and associated text are sent to the Responder.

Note: in the current version, a Commander can only send one image at a time.

RESPOND: Image Tab

The Image tab allows a Commander to get access to all the pictures that have been sent by Responders during the time they’ve been logged in and any images added from the Commander’s computer/tablet using this Image Tab.Screenshot 2015-09-08 13.31.26

The Commander can scroll through the list of images. Selecting an image gives the Commander an option to download that image to their local hard drive.

When images are uploaded, the Commander can add text that will be available when they send the image to Responders.

The set of images is available to all Commanders as a shared set of resources.

RESPOND: Looking At Pictures/Videos

CommandWear allows Responders to upload pictures and videos. When a Responder uploads a picture/video, an icon is placed on the map at the location the picture was uploaded from (not necessarily the location where the picture was taken if the Responder has moved between taking the picture and sending it).Screenshot 2015-01-28 16.43.17

In Review or Respond mode, Commanders can hover over a picture/video icon (on computers with a mouse/trackpad, not touch based devices) and see a thumbnail image, as shown.

The hover thumbnail contains the following information:

  • Time of upload.
  • Responder callsign and name.
  • Description, if any, entered by responder when the picture was uploaded.

Clicking on the thumbnail or the picture in the User Details, Timeline, or User Status will open a larger picture on the map.

The larger picture view allows for the following additional capabilities:Screenshot 2015-01-28 16.49.55

  • Clicking on the Download icon in bottom right will open up the picture in a new window.
  • Optionally, right clicking on the icon will allow the file to be downloaded and saved.

RESPOND: Settings/Map Overlays

Screenshot 2015-12-04 13.08.14

Many organizations have created maps with annotations or layers. Examples are zones, areas of interest, traffic routes and road closures. These map layers are typically stored as (or can be exported as) .kml or .kmz files from GIS mapping applications. Keyhole Markup Language (KML) and KMZ are XML notations for expressing geographic annotation and visualization within Internet-based, two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional Earth browsers.  Google Maps, ArcGIS and other mapping applications can be used to create these overlays (layers) and export to kml/kmz format and saved to a sharable drive (e.g. dropbox) accessible by the CommandWear application.

The Commander can upload kml/kmz files that will appear under the ‘KML Map Layers’ section of the Settings Tab.

To do this:

  1. Select the Settings Icon on the right menu (shown).
  2. Enter a web accessible kml or kmz file address.
    • If you want to use dropbox to create a web link, the default sharing link has “dl=0” at the end. This needs to be changed to “dl=1”.
    • Click on Add Layer.
  3. The Commander can upload multiple overlays. Each overlay can be turned on and off on the map through the check box on the left.
  4. The KML Map Layers are persistent (they will stay there even after you log off) and are available to all Commanders on the system.
  5. To delete a KML Map Layer, select the “x” on the right of the name. This will delete the map layer from all Commander’s view when they refresh their browsers (but does not delete the source file).

RESPOND: Settings/Map Clusters

Map Not Clustered

A map can get difficult to read when multiple responders are in overlapping positions on the map. In order to facilitate better viewing, CommandWear has implemented “clustering”. When responders overlap, their symbols on the map are automatically grouped into a circle, as shown below.Map Clustered

The circle shows the number of responders in that cluster, with a ‘+’ if the number is 10 or more.Map Cluster Popup

In order to see the list of responders in the cluster, click or touch the circle, as shown.

RESPOND: Settings/Show Accuracy Circles

Occasionally a Commander may wish to know just how accurate the Responders’ GPS is. GPS accuracy is estimated by the device itself and can vary from device to device. The GPS on a device may think it’s very accurate but it could still be off, especially in areas where tall buildings can reflect GPS signals.Show Accuracy Circle

GPS Accuracy circles will appear around each tracked Responder when checked in the Settings/Show Accuracy Circle.Accuracy Circle


As you increase the number of users being tracked, it becomes important to be able to view and message them in distinct groups. In the Responder Status bar, you will see a group designation in grey below each user’s call sign.groups

RESPOND: Viewing Groups

In order to determine what groups you are viewing, you go to the settings bar on the side. It controls what you view. Your choices now include the ability to see what groups you want to see and message.Groups Select

RESPOND: Managing/Changing Groups

It may be necessary to quickly change the group a responder is assigned to. This change can be made through the Groups tab as indicated by the Groups (“multi-headed”) tab. Groups Change

You will see a list of ALL responders (not just the active ones). Find the responder whose group you wish to change and select a new group from the drop down list, as shown. A Group History is automatically maintained showing when responders have been moved among groups.

RESPOND: Need Help

When a Communicator user presses the Need Help function on their smartphone or smartwatch, the Commander will:

  • see an alert appear on the screen;
  • hear a sound played;
  • turn the user icon (head) red; and,
  • highlight the user details in red.CommandWear Lone Worker Display Phone Watch

The Commander can close the Need Help popup on the map by clicking on the top right corner of the popup.

In order to clear the Need Help, the Commander must select the user. Once selected the Commander will see the usual set of buttons for Center, Command and Broadcast, with the addition of “Clear Status”.Screenshot 2015-05-05 13.11.30

Selecting Clear Status will bring up a message popup. The Commander must enter a message and press Send to Clear the Need Help.


Review provides the ability to play back events as though rewinding a movie. It’s very useful for briefings during events, analysis and investigation after events, and reviews with students after a training exercise. All messages, locations and pictures/video are permanently stored in the database and can be exported to Microsoft Excel.

REVIEW: Main Screen

The Review main screen is very simple. There are Events listed on the left hand side of the screen. These are created before, during or after an operation by an administrator, as described below.Screenshot 2015-01-28 15.54.40

For all the existing events, you have the options to:

  • Replay – Replay the event. You will be taken to the Replay screen.
  • Edit – Change the time associated with the event. You may need it a few hours earlier to capture additional information.
  • Download Data – Download the locations, messages, users and heartbeats to separate .csv files.
  • Delete – removes the named event from the list (but NOT the data it contains). At any time you can recreate the event by adding a new event with the same time start/end times.

You can create a new event by selecting the “+” in the left menu beside the word Events.

Screenshot 2015-01-28 16.02.12

To create a New Event, type in the:

  • Event Name – Create a meaningful name for the event.
  • Start Time – Starting time for the event.
  • End Time – Ending time for the event. Events can not be longer than 7 days.

REVIEW: Replay Event

When you select Replay, the event data will load into your browser, this could take seconds or up to minutes depending on the amount of data and the speed of your network.

The map starts at the 0:00 mark of your event. If there are users who are logged in, they will show up on the map. If you have started the event before anyone has logged in, you will need to start playing the event (move ahead on the timeline) to see responders appear on the screen.

Screenshot 2015-01-28 16.18.11

REVIEW: User Status

The user status bar on the right shows commands/messages and pictures shared with Command at the current time of playback. You can scroll the list up and down if there are more users than appear on the screen. Users appear alphabetically by Call Sign.Screenshot 2015-01-28 16.24.07

REVIEW: User Details

When you click on one of the Responders on the map or in the User Status bar, you are taken into the User Details.Screenshot 2015-01-28 16.26.02

The User Details shows the call sign, status and name of the user. It also shows the entire message history for that user.

The User Details also shows the actual time the message was sent and the time of the response.

REVIEW: Timeline

The Timeline is very useful for tracking messages and picture/video upload. All of these appear sequentially on the timeline.Screenshot 2015-01-28 16.32.23

Items that are greyed out have not yet occurred.

You can click on any text in the Timeline, including greyed out (future) messages, and it will take you to that point in the event Timeline.

If you select a picture in the Timeline it will open that picture.