DHS spurs wearable tech for first responders

DHS spurs wearable tech for first responders

With one eye on spurring innovation and the other on supporting first responders, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate announced a business accelerator program aimed at developing new wearable technology for the public safety community.

The program, dubbed EMERGE!, is aimed at entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas for wearable tech that could be adapted for the “first responders of the future,” according to DHS.

New wearable systems might include body-worn electronics, advanced sensors and integrated voice and data communications applications embedded in a responder’s gear, according to the EMERGE! announcement.

The program is a partnership of the U.S. Air Force Academy, DHS’s Center for Innovation and Center for Innovative Technology (CIT).

The EMERGE! Accelerator program could also be useful to developers looking to improve and prepare their applications for market. Wearable system entrepreneurs will have access to tools to develop, test and launch their ideas through early market validation, mentoring and private investment access, the EMERGE! group said. The program gives smaller organizations and start-ups new ways to introduce those technologies to a variety of markets, including government-sector partners.

CIT has chosen two accelerators as EMERGE! program pilots.

The first is Tech Wildcatters from Dallas, a business-to-business mentor-driven accelerator focusing on high-growth, technology startups. The second is TechNexus, a Chicago-based venture firm, which is  partnered with Wearable World of San Francisco, a company is  focusing on wearables and building “the Internet of Things” ecosystem.

CIT President and CEO Pete Jobse said the partnership “will bring the best innovations into government, while helping emerging startups find new markets to sell products.”

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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