Organizers of a new NFPA pitch event highlighting smart technology solutions for first responders were among the speakers at a Washington, DC innovation showcase last week that was reported on in a Forbes article.
Since October, NFPA has been engaged in ongoing dialogue with entrepreneurs looking to support the needs of the fire service via the EMERGE Accelerator Program, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The wearable technology start-up program is in its second year and is supported by the DHS Science and Technology division, the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), a Virginia non-profit driver of innovation and start up development; TechNexus, a collaborative that works with the corporate and global entrepreneurial ecosystem; and the U.S. Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory whose interests lie in energy, the environment and national security issues. NFPA offers the program and the start-ups insight on the fire service; access to first responders; and knowledge about codes, standards, research and data.
During the annual NFPA Conference & Expo (C&E) at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center, NFPA will host a special first responder event-within-an-event. The June 6th program will include guest speakers, firefighter health and wellness sessions, fire-related educational content, admission to the Expo, an opportunity to weigh in on new technology that will help first responders do their job, and a networking reception. Each year, nearly 8,000 people attend the general session, educational sessions and Expo at C&E, representing a variety of disciplines including the fire service, engineering, manufacturing, the electrical industry, standards organizations, public education, and the enforcement community.
During the tech challenge, new ventures will introduce their products to a roomful of key stakeholders via 2-3 minute "product pitches". The audience will vote for their favorite option via real-time text messaging. A reception will follow, allowing members of the fire service to see the products up close and talk with the inventors about real-world application.
In addition to serving the first responder community, some of the innovative solutions may also work for more lucrative markets like the defense industry, energy sector, utility companies and transportation resources.
The 10 startups in this year's EMERGE program include:
Augmate - a management platform for wearable devices that helps IT departments track users and their devices, collect sensor data, communicate with workers, and control approved applications and situational connectivity.
CommandWear Systems - integrating location and biometrics data from devices to provide personnel tracking, two-way text communication and video sharing to facilitate planning, mission execution, and review operations among teams.
HAAS Alert - 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, streamlining the disaster and emergency notification process to keep communities safe.
Human Systems Integration - a system that includes remote physiological monitoring, providing a plug and play wearable situational awareness and communications platform.
Lumenus - smart clothing that uses LED lighting and connectivity to improve visibility of consumers and industrial workers.
LuminAID - Durable, low cost, and low profile inflatable solar lamps that can be stored efficiently and easily deployed.
Pear Sports - a coaching and training application that uses biometric signals like heart rate, VO2 max, location, and environmental data to build training programs that improve the long-term health of users.
Six15 Technologies - rugged wearable devices for military and industrial use that stream video and display data using augmented reality overlays for better situational awareness.
Vault RMS - a digital tool that leverages biometric and situational data from wearable devices and other inputs to build a long-term health profile of workers exposed to health-compromising environments, driving improvements in health, safety, and overall worker productivity.
Visual Semantics - software that integrates with cloud-enabled wearable cameras and heads-up displays to provide real-time facial recognition and alerts to help first responders more intelligently assess and react to situations in the field.
Look for more details about this special one-day program for the fire services, including new tech challenge profiles in the months to come via blog and coverage in NFPA Journal.