Converge Part II: VR/AR and Wearable Tech We Might See at CES

During the discussions that took place at Converge earlier this month, it became clear that the wearable tech included in this year’s EMERGE class can be broken into a few themes: 1. AR/VR and wearable interplay, 2. Monitoring people and things, and 3. health and human need. Wearable tech and its application in each of these categories will surely have a place in the conversation during the Consumer Electronics Show next week. 

For instance, ROCeteer CTO Heather Wilde shared a sneak peek at tech trends we’ll see at CES with AR/VR and wearables being two key highlights. Beyond pure entertainment, our EMERGE ventures represent unique and critical real world applications for AR/VR and wearable tech, which we expect to be mirrored at CES: 

AR, VR, Video, Wearable Interplay

First responders regularly enter chaotic disaster zones – a burning building or a city hit by a natural disaster. Using technology to get a better lay of the land is one way the EMERGE ventures solve first responders’ daily challenges:

Six15 produces rugged wearable displays that serve U.S. and NATO Special Operations groups. Their glasses display full motion video streamed from the operator’s display and run augmented reality displays to overlay data from their management systems for added situational awareness. 

Augmate allows IT administrators to track users and devices, collect sensor data, communicate with workers and control devices’ applications and connectivity. As connected wearables become commonplace for first responders, managed security and permissions will be required. 

Visual Semantics offers supplemental body camera functionality such as real-time face recognition and alerts to help police officers and first responders understand potentially hostile environments. Future iterations will also include 3D mapping and other plugins.

Tracking of People & Things 

Oftentimes, areas in need of first responder attention are high-hazard zones with communication breakdowns. It’s critical to know where each responder is within the parameter so that the nearest person can be deployed to address an issue and so that civilians and responders can reach safety zones quickly.  

HAAS Alert is a vehicle-to-vehicle platform that uses acoustic sensors and location data to connect people, vehicles and things to cities. The data generated routes emergency vehicles and civilian traffic around incidents and builds historical patterns for traffic and property data to help cut down on the 60,000 emergency vehicle collisions that occur each year. 

CommandWear integrates data from wearables and sensors to give responders real-time situational awareness. Using mobile devices, officers can plan, execute, and review operations for real-time personnel tracking, two-way text-based communication, video-sharing and event replay.

Human Systems Integration created a multi-modular integration for first responders and soldiers with skin level remote physiological monitoring. This provides a comprehensive plug and play wearable situational awareness and communications platform that allows you to integrate any combination of computing communications, sensor and actuator devices into a wearable.

Health and Human Need 

First responders also put their lives at risk every day. Not just by entering condemned structures, but by putting themselves in high-stress, high-pollutant, low visibility areas. 

LuminAID is a durable, low cost and low profile inflatable solar lamp that can be stored efficiently and deployed at scale in the event of a natural disaster, severe power outage or public safety emergency. 

Lumenus created tech-laced apparel with the creation of smart LED lighting in clothing to keep first responders safer and help augment situational awareness among teams. Its software makes the system autonomous and optimizes lighting to maximize visibility, safety and visual communication.

VaultRMS is an exposure tracker application where public safety workers and firefighters can document incidents involving health-compromising environments and leverage both biometric and situational data to build a long-term health profile. The cloud-based software allows reports to be accessed from any device for individuals or entire departments.

Pear Sports is focused on helping first responders leverage responsive, interactive training that reacts in the moment to more effectively simulate the rigors of on the job responsibilities. It helps first responders train according to heart rate zones and quantitatively track their performance and progress in order to minimize the negative impacts of in-field physical and mental fatigue.

*Image source: Pixabay