Smart LED lighting built right into an EMT’s uniform; wearable sensors that track, record and monitor a first responder’s physiological condition; and body cameras that use cloud-based facial recognition to alert wearers to imminent threats from people in their vicinity are just some of the cutting-edge wearable technology applications being explored under the Department of Homeland Security’s EMERGE Accelerator Program for Wearable Tech for First Responders (EMERGE).
In partnership with The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and venture collaborative firm TechNexus, DHS has been seeking out entrepreneurial companies with wearable technological solutions to make first responders safer, better informed and more capable on the job.
“DHS saw that first responders were being left out of the wearable technology revolution,” says Brendan Karp, TechNexus’ chief of staff. “They brought us and CIT in to make things happen through EMERGE. It is a project that has already invited and received hundreds of wearable tech ideas from innovators, and whittled them down to 10 best options for testing with the aid of interested first responder agencies.”
EMERGE will provide funding and support to accelerate the best of these ideas into usable products, so that first responders get to use them as soon as possible.