AR and IoT Solutions for Emergency Scenarios
Imagine a community where first responders become empowered by augmented reality (AR) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies. A scene where public safety personnel arrives with the detailed preparations needed to tackle floods, wildfires, active shooters, and mass transit accidents. Where the general public’s safety is improved and property protected due to innovative uses of data, IoT devices, and AR.
In a step toward making this vision a reality, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Public Safety Communications Research Division hosted a $1.1 million prize competition titled “The CHARIoT Challenge.” As a supporting partner, US Ignite helped NIST design and execute the dual-track competition for contestants sharing in the belief that AR and IoT can improve public safety operations. The IoT Data for Emergency Scenarios that demonstrates situational awareness information that would be provided to a first responder or an incident commander during a mission-critical event can be found at NIST’s publicly accessible Github repository here.
The two challenge tracks were:
- AR: Build Augmented Reality Interfaces for First Responders
Researchers in this track built solutions that provide first responder access to IoT devices, smart buildings, and smart city data streams while also creating emulated public safety data streams focused on giving first responders situational awareness.
- IoT: Emulate Smart City Data for Disasters Scenarios
Developers who participated in this track leveraged AR technology to convey information to first responders while minimizing the risk of information overload and maximizing situational awareness.
Despite COVID 19’s impact and related delays, the CHARIoT Challenge galvanized a group of top-tier AR and IoT technologists. The $1.1 million was split between winners across four competition phases. This pay-for-performance model incentivized participants toward an improved end product. The IoT track offered up to $212,000 in prizes, and the AR track offered up to $888,000. Below is a list of the winners!
AR: Build AR Interfaces for Public Safety
- 1st Place – JANUS Research Group – Designed a solution that allows end-users to interact with and manipulate virtual objects
- 2nd Place – North Star Simulations – Built a training tool focused on storytelling that empowers incident commanders to streamline operations
- 3rd Place – BadVR – Generated a solution that brings together multi-domain information into one environment for better decision-making
- 4th Place – ARCORTEX – Devised an AR platform that draws real-time data from external interfaced sources and user input to display relevant information to annotate the natural world
- 5th Place – NextGEN Interactions – Constructed an intuitive interface that provides IoT data to first responders
IoT: Emulate Smart City Data for Emergency Scenarios
- 1st Place – Team Frites – Built a low-cost and easy-to-use, ‘Emergency Scenario and IoT Sensor Simulator’ that provides controlled data streams through an integrated 7-inch touch screen display.
- 2nd Place – Team SmartIoT – Developed a data appliance that transmits data streams in multiple protocols and formats to multiple network clients using a Raspberry Pi.
Click here for a complete list of the winners across each phase.
The challenge proved successful in bringing together the data science community and developers to propel the use of AR in public safety. To review its outcomes, check out the report on the CHARIoT Challenge. It includes additional information on the design and execution of the challenge and lessons learned and a closer look at the winning teams.