US-based Qwake Technologies has created a system that could help firefighters get out of a burning building five times faster. Thermal imaging technology has long been used by the emergency services to find people when visibility is poor, but the firm’s new C-Thru system provides real time navigation through a transparent AR display that is placed directly in the firefighters’ line of sight. By overlaying computer vision on top of a user’s environment, C-Thru provides a firefighter with the information they need in an emergency situation and helps them get to people in need.
The C-Thru engine is the size of a deck of playing cards and helps firefighters see through smoke. It works by combining proprietary machine vision algorithms with Nvidia Tegra mobile processors. The engine can also integrate auxiliary sensors and wireless data for advanced situational awareness. The augmented reality display overlays thermal technology and what the firefighters can see with their own eyes. Aside from firefighter protective equipment, Qwake Technologies hopes the creation could be implemented to drones, robots and handheld devices in the future.
Technology has long been used by emergency services and law enforcement teams to help achieve the better outcome, with examples including EU police forces trialling AI detectives and juries viewing a crime scene with VR headsets. With technology’s uses expanding every day, how else could it help optimise safety for both civilians and emergency services?