Menu
Google Glass to get a workout from Dutch firefighters

Google Glass to get a workout from Dutch firefighters

Google Glass could be useful for tasks like cutting up a car to free a trapped person, the fire department said

Amsterdam-Amstelland Fire Commander Elie van Strien wearing Google Glass

Amsterdam-Amstelland Fire Commander Elie van Strien wearing Google Glass

Can Google Glass help first responders work more effectively? Firefighters in Amsterdam want to find out, and plan to try out the wearable-of-the-moment in training scenarios and at accident scenes.

Google's gadget has enormous potential to enhance the performance of firefighters, the Amsterdam fire brigade said Thursday. It is working with IT company Incentro to develop software for Glass.

Initially, the brigade will use Glass to stream real-time video of accidents, via Google Hangouts, to students who can watch what the firefighters are doing, or to let remote officers tune in to see what's happening, according to Kees van Bemmel, manager at Incentro. The company has lent the fire department just one Glass device, however, so the experimentation will be somewhat limited in scope.

Glass can also be used to access data hands-free at an accident scene, so that information from the fire department's crash recovery system could for example be shown in the heads-up display, said Van Bemmel. That database contains information about how to cut open different models of cars when somebody is trapped after an accident, so firefighters can stay clear of airbags or other hazards.

Currently, the fire department accesses this information via tablets, said a fire department spokesman. Incentro will probably start next week on a concept for how to link the database to Glass.

Other potential uses for Glass might be checking the levels in an oxygen tank, or quickly taking a picture of a license plate to be uploaded to a database to check vehicle-specific information such as the fuel used by a crashed car, Incentro and the fire brigade showed in a video.

The experimentation remains pretty speculative. There no plans yet to invest in more Glasses even if the outcomes are positive: the devices are hard to come by in the Netherlands. Google Glass is currently only available in the U.S. on a limited basis. Even though Incentro is a Google partner, the company has not provided it with any of the devices. Eventually Incentro managed to get an invitation to buy one and used a U.S. shipping address from which it was sent on to the Netherlands, Van Bemmel said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googleconsumer electronicsGoogle GlassWearables

Featured

Slideshows

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments