Education & Workforce Public Safety

This is a training system that equips first responders with Google Glass to share live video and real-time information during scenarios.

Firefighter and first-responder training methods have remained virtually unchanged for decades despite the emergence of new technologies. This is due in large part to the risk that a new technology may be prone to malfunction or incur a high learning curve that impedes its effective use. However, the tools we are developing would co-exist with and enhance existing training methods, rather than replace them.

Augmented Reality Tools for Improved Training of First Responders will increase the effectiveness of firefighter and first-responder training in the following ways. It provides a real-time link of position and point-of-view video, between responders wearing Google Glass, and a trainer or trainee coordinator, during practice scenarios. This information increases the coordinators’ situational awareness by allowing them to monitor the activity of the responders precisely from an overhead view or from the perspective of any member of the response team. Additionally, it provides responders with training scenario information through a hands-free, heads-up display. This would let the responders visualize the path they have followed and allow for display of virtual beacons that indicate important positions or objects in the environment. It would also allow the coordinators to offer real-time guidance, as needed, for example, prompting the responder with the recommended search pattern. Coordinators could also modify the training scenario at any point to introduce appropriate challenges. Finally, it provides a valuable assessment and debriefing tool: The entire training scenario would be recorded for use in the assessment of the responders’ performance and for debriefing. This would better allow for the identification and correction of any weaknesses. Responders would also be able to review their own performance and improve on it.

Acknowledgments: This project is supported by Mozilla Ignite. This project was previously supported under: Real-time Emergency Response

Team Information: Shared Reality Lab, McGill University, Jeremy Cooperstock [email protected]

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