Wildfires, unfortunately, will continue to be a risk to public safety, and will likely increase in intensity and frequency with time. Qwake technologies, led by CEO Sam Cossman, created C-Thru in 2020 in anticipation of the growing demand for firefighters, C-Thru is a futuristic eyepiece for firefighters that augments their reality, making it easier to see obstacles and people. C-Thru is worn over one eye, as the designers were cognizant that it couldn’t interfere in any way with the firefighter’s breathing apparatus. What the firefighter sees is an augmented reality video stream created by a thermal camera and artificial intelligence software that identifies objects outlined by the infrared camera, resulting in outlines of people or obstacles. As a result, firefighters can navigate spaces more safely and reach people faster. Infrared is already frequently used, but the devices are handheld and attention has to be split between looking ahead and looking at the small monitor on the infrared device. C-Thru also connects a headset piece, so firefighters can communicate about what they see to one another. Seeing as nearly every corner of the planet will see a rise in fires, technologies like this fill a public safety niche that is open regardless of what causes a fire. This technology is still in the pilot phase, so it is difficult to know the cost of the final product and the financial feasibility of using C-Thru.

Dormehl, Luke. “Innovative edge-finding AR eyepiece lets firefighters see through smoke.” Digital Trends, February 26, 2020. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/qwake-c-thru-ar-hud-firefighters/.


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