DHS nurtures wearable tech for responders

DHS nurtures wearable tech for responders

Ten startups will be working on EMERGE 2016, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s  program supporting research and development of wearable technology for first responders. EMERGE 2016 expands on last year’s pilot that accelerated the delivery of the latest innovative wearable technologies for first responders by bringing startups, accelerators and strategic partners together in a common research and development effort.

“We need to find technologies for first responders that can be integrated directly into their existing gear,” DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Reginald Brothers said in a statement. “The entrepreneurial world is on the leading edge of those inventive solutions.”

The startups will get feedback from first responders, industry professionals and business leaders to help them get their products to markets, which could include government, according to DHS.

The 10 startups selected for EMERGE 2016 were selected from 261 ventures from 149 different cities. The technology includes:

  • A provisioning and management platform that tracks users and their wearable devices, collects sensor data and controls approved applications and situational connectivity (Augmate).
  • Software that integrates location and biometric data from devices to provide personnel tracking, two-way text communication and video sharing (CommandWear Systems).
  • A mobile vehicle-to-vehicle communication platform that uses acoustic sensors to pick up environmental and situational noise and location data to connect people, vehicles and things in cities (HAAS Alert).
  • An integrated system for remote physiological monitoring (Human Systems Integration).
  • Smart clothing that uses LED lighting and connectivity to improve visibility of workers (Lumenus).
  • Durable, low-cost and low-profile inflatable solar lamps that can be easily stored and deployed (LuminAID).
  • A coaching and training application that uses biometric, location and environmental data to improve the long-term health of users (Pear Sports).
  • Rugged wearable devices that stream video and display data with augmented reality overlays (Six15 Technologies).
  • Software that leverages biometric and situational data from wearable devices and other sources to build a long-term health profile of workers exposed to health-compromising environments (Vault RMS).
  • Software that integrates with cloud-enabled wearable cameras and heads-up displays to provide real-time facial recognition and alerts (Visual Semantics).

The EMERGE program is led by a partnership between DHS, Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, TechNexus and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a former reporter for GCN.


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