responder vehicles at night (GregDPhotos/

5G First Responder Lab taps 5 more public safety innovators

Shortly after graduating a second cohort of companies developing cutting-edge technology to better protect public-safety workers and the public, the 5G First Responder Lab announced the final set of participating innovators.

Created by Verizon 5G and Responder Corp, the lab identifies companies working on lifesaving technology and gives them three months of access to Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband technology to develop, test and refine their solutions for public safety. The second cohort of firms focused on virtual reality (VR) training and education and smart/safe city technology that uses artificial intelligence and sensors, for example.

Asylon developed an autonomous drone-as-a-service system optimized for security. It incorporates several elements. One is GroundAware Intelligent Passive alert, which can monitor round-the-clock regardless of weather and detect and track people, drones, vehicles, animals and planes up to 2 miles away in real time. Another is DroneCore, which can autonomously track and follow suspects, fly for 50 minutes of every hour and apply machine learning classifiers in real time. Other elements are DroneSentry, which is an autonomous rapid alarm response to get eyes on a target within minutes, and DroneIQ, a vision algorithm for human and vehicle detection.

Two other graduates are NSENA VR and Pixo VR, both of which make VR training solutions for law enforcement and first responders, respectively. NSENA has more than 50 scenarios, including responding to a suicidal woman, a hostage situation and domestic violence. Pixo also provides immersive 3D workspaces in which responders can practice handling hazardous materials and situations.

Another lab grad is Two Six Labs, which networks sensors to provide real-time scanning of the environment for dangerous radiation levels and alerts officials to problems. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency commissioned the company to develop the system, called SIGMA, which is cloud-hosted; supports personal, mobile and static sensors; and collects, stores, analyzes and visualizes data.

Lastly, Waycare created a platform with a suite of cloud-based products that support multiple applications to help make roads safer. It uses AI to predict spots where accidents are likely to occur and alerts traffic agencies, which can take preventative action. During a pilot test in Las Vegas, the platform was able to decrease primary crashes along a main corridor of I-15 by 17% and saw 91% of drivers going faster than 65 mph reduce their speed. The technology won a 2019 Government Innovation Award.

“We’re proud of the great work the companies from Cohort 2 have put forth to support our first responders with enhanced capabilities over 5G,” Nathanial Wish, cofounder and CEO of Responder Corp., said in a statement.

On Nov. 21, the 5G First Responder Lab program selected the final group of startups for its innovation program that gives promising technology companies access to 5G technology to develop, test and refine their solutions for public safety. The startups in this third cohort will focus on developing artificial intelligence for weapon detection, geo-intelligence, autonomous security and smart cities solutions.

The startups and solutions for this cohort include:

  • Edgybees: Live video feeds captured from any camera, augmented by human input or other data sources to provide clarity on operational environments.
  • SimX: VR and AR medical simulation software for medical training.
  • Knightscope: Autonomous security capabilities including self-driving technology, robotics and artificial intelligence.
  • Lumineye: Wall-penetrating radar sensing to help first responders identify people through walls.
  • Zeroeyes: An active shooter solution that uses AI to monitor camera feeds to detect weapons.

The lab started in November 2018 in Washington, D.C., and hosted its first cohort in March. That group comprised Adcor MAGnet Systems, which uses sensors to boost situational awareness; Blueforce Development, which uses sensors and data to improve decision-making; Kiana Analytics, maker of cloud-based software and device detection to boost public-safety agencies’ physical safety and security; and Qwake Technologies, which makes augmented reality products to help, for example, firefighters see in zero-visibility conditions.

The 5G First Responder Lab has brought together a total of 15 innovators in three separate cohorts developing public safety solutions over the last year.

"Each cohort has brought a wealth of innovation to the table, ultimately helping to create advanced solutions with potentially life-saving technologies that are built on Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband," Wish said.

Editor's note: This article was changed Dec. 2 to correct the list of third-cohort companies.

About the Author

Stephanie Kanowitz is a freelance writer based in northern Virginia.


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