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AI powered display now allows firefighters to see through heavy smoke

Entrepreneur Sam Cossman and his colleagues at Qwake developed a heads up display that projects data from a thermal camera right in front of a firefighter’s face to help firefighters navigate through smoke.

Entrepreneur Sam Cossman and his colleagues at Qwake developed a heads up display that projects data from a thermal camera right in front of a firefighter’s face to help firefighters navigate through smoke.

Called the C-THRU, it has heads up display features on a transparent piece of glass that sits inside a firefighter’s mask, right in front of one eye.

A thermal camera is outside the mask that delivers a live feed to the device’s brain, which is a special form of artificial intelligence that detects the edges of shapes in the camera’s view and outlines them in neon green. This allows the firefighters to see the green silhouettes of the objects in front of them, despite the heavy smoke.

Sam came up with the idea for C-THRU while exploring active volcanic craters, an activity in which he found himself essentially walking blindly through the smoke and steam. The product has been tested in real-world scenarios by many fire departments and the response has been extremely positive, with the Boston Fire Department chief saying C-THRU “could literally change the game for us.”

The release date is yet to be announced but we can expect to receive more details on it by “early 2021.”

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