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Fighting Fire with Technology: AR Glasses and Drones Help First Responders in Dangerous Environments

Augmented reality glasses and drones help public safety professionals in disaster situations and keep them safe from harm.


Augmented reality has already reached a high level of adoption. Companies operating in various industries, such as automotive, healthcare, logistics and engineering, have already adopted AR glasses and specialized software as daily tools.

The number one benefit of augmented reality is that it allows workers to operate hands-free. Instead of holding a piece of paper or a device in their hand to see information, the data is overlaid on the real world environment. This benefit can increase productivity and reduce accidents. However, for first responders to disaster situations, it can represent the difference between life and death.

AR Glasses and Drones – the Tools of the Near Future for Firefighters

When we say firefighter, most of us think of the well known bright red vehicle and the water hose. While these tools may be efficient in putting out a fire, they do little to protect the first responders from danger. To change this, two companies, Epson and DJI Enterprise, joined forces in an innovative project.

Epson is known for its IT and office equipment. For some years, the company expanded its range of products to AR glasses. Now, in partnership with drone producers DJI, Epson developed AR glasses that offer drone operators first-person view of the drone field of vision.

Thus, a user can monitor the images captured by the drone without losing visual contact with the real world. This is extremely important for firefighters and other public safety professionals, who need to make decisions within seconds.

Epson Voverio AR glasses

Epson’s AR glasses in the Moverio series feature:

  • Si-OLED binocular transparent display, for high definition view;
  • Shaded shield accessory and high contrast display optimized for outdoor use;
  • USB-C and HDMI ports;
  • Adjustable fit for comfort;
  • ANSI Z87.1 certification.

Moverio AR Glasses and DJI Drones: The Experiment

To prove the benefits of cutting edge technologies in the most critical field of work, Epson and DJI organized an experiment. The Menlo Park Fire Department tested the AR glasses connected to the drone in an exercise.

The drone offers first responders an overview of the disaster area in real time. Using the AR glasses, firefighters can make the right decision without wasting valuable seconds.

According to one of the participants in the experiment: “If there’s a tool that can make us a little bit faster, a little bit safer and a little bit better – if it could only save one life, we should be using it.”

Keeping First Responders Safe with New Technologies

Firefighters are risking their lives every day in the attempt to save other lives and property. But with the help of new technologies they can be one step ahead of dangerous situations. Drones are ideal tools for first hand reconnoitering of dangerous environment.

Fighting Fire with Technology: AR Glasses and Drones Help First Responders in Dangerous Environments

With AR glasses giving them a first-person view of the disaster area captured by the drone, firefighters do not step into the unknown anymore. They can identify escape routes, the most dangerous areas, as well as the location of persons and animals trapped in a burning building. All this valuable information comes to them in real time, without the need to keep their hands busy holding a device.

This new project by Epson and DJI shows that new technologies are not just convenient and entertaining. They can improve our lives in many aspects and even help make the most dangerous jobs a little safer. If nothing else, this is a good reason to push for the adoption of augmented reality and other upcoming technologies.

See Also:  How Augmented Reality Glasses Work
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