To accelerate research and development (R&D) for public security user interfaces (UIs), NIST’s Public Security Communications Research (PSCR) division has awarded $ 9.7 million to eight recipients for the Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program (PSIAP) Augmented Reality (AR) funding opportunity.
RA allows users to interact with technologies in unique ways and has ample potential to support first aid, including reducing cognitive overload, improving navigation, and complementing real-life training solutions.
However, the widespread adoption of this new technology for first aid has its obstacles. Public safety encompasses a wide range of disciplines and roles, which is a challenge to find an all-in-one solution. In addition, the lack of a market for public safety UIs can lead to quality and accessibility barriers for these technologies for firefighters, emergency medical services (EMS), and police. Therefore, identifying cases of public safety use and accelerating R&D is key to the successful adoption of RA technologies for first aid.
Meet the winners
Although the adoption of RA by public safety agencies is soon possible, further research is needed to ensure the inclusion of the experiences of first responders in the product development process. That is why PSCR is partnering with the following awards to drive the market adoption of this emerging technology. These researchers work closely with public safety organizations (PSOs) in the United States, which report on their unique approach to leveraging RA for public safety use cases.
University of Virginia: Context-Aware AR for Cognitive Assistance
The University of Virginia (UVA) leverages advances in detection, computer, and visualization technologies to improve real-time situational awareness of the first response. UVA will combine existing AR technology with portable detection and computing devices and machine intelligence capabilities to develop a cognitive assistant system that captures, integrates, and evaluates incident data in real time. The main goal is to use artificial intelligence to support first-timers by creating incident reports at the scene and providing feedback to users about their response actions.
Carnegie Mellon University: Extreme Reality (EXR) telemetry interface for real-time operation and training
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) focuses on the location-based services (LBS) aspect of RA first aid applications. Telemetry is a critical component in providing emergency response teams with situational awareness about responding users, victims, targets, and the environment. However, existing hardware configurations are not built for difficult environments, such as smoky, dark, or noisy, with little wireless connectivity. To make these extreme conditions more suitable for first aid, CMU proposed a modular and portable AR platform.
University of Florida: SearchAR
The University of Florida (UF) project, SearchAR: User-Centered Adaptive Augmented Reality, aims to leverage a user experience (UxE) engineering process that designs, prototypes, and tests interface. custom user interface. These interaction methods, called SearchAR, are cognition-based and context-dependent and support key functions in emergency search and rescue (SAR). The UxE approach will be used to address the potential challenges of human-computer interaction and usability when applying RA in SAR. This project intends to identify designs that help achieve the balance between attention allocation and cognitive load.
University of Wisconsin: EasyVizAR
The University of Wisconsin (UW) project, called EasyVizAR: Edge-Supported, Assistive Augmented Reality for Indoor First Responder Scenarios, provides an end-to-end solution to address many common challenges in indoor emergencies. Providing high-end computer support for RA devices is difficult because of the computational costs that can drain the battery or make the device especially hot. The UW project proposes the use of an on-premise portable platform, edge computing to download the calculation, as well as mapping and location techniques, and new multimodal feedback. The project provides a unique end-to-end system that is optimized for the domain for early response situations.
Research Triangle Institute International: First Responder AR Test Bed
Understanding that new techniques are needed to inform about the design, development and evaluation of AR technologies for public safety, the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International proposes the formation of an augmented reality test bench (FRAR) , user-centered, persistent. The RTI approach aims to create and support a market for public safety UIs by improving the current state of RA technologies for EMS, law enforcement and firefighters.
BadVR: AR interface for public security operations
BadVR seeks to design and develop a prototype AR application for public safety operators and operations center activities. Leveraging new immersive technology, first aiders will have better access to critical decision-making information while maintaining awareness of the situation. BadVR also participated in the CHARIOT challenge, where they created AR solutions to support public safety boots on the ground and incident command operations. They will continue to expand their augmented reality operations center (AROC) capacity through this new project.
Cyber Bytes Foundation: Natural Authentication for Emergency Management AR
The Cyber Bytes Foundation (CBF) project aims to explore how to authenticate first aid to RA devices so that it feels natural, does not produce false positives or false negatives, and does not require much user action. . The goal of the CBF project is twofold. First, they will identify the authentication methods of representative RA devices that first responders can use in performing their functions. Second, they will identify and publish best practices and controls to mitigate the security and privacy vulnerabilities identified within authentication methods.
Pison Technology Inc .: ARCHANGEL
Pison Technology Inc. is developing augmented reality control with a hands-free activated neural gesture participation library (ARCHANGEL) to better understand the human-machine interface (HMI) between first aid and portable equipment. ARCHANGEL provides a unique wrist-mounted solution with the ability to map intuitive finger, hand and arm gestures to the control of different AR screens and AR-controlled systems. It does this by using machine learning classifiers that characterize unique finger, wrist, and arm gestures by tracking micro-tension changes in the neuromuscular system. These gestures are mapped to the intuitive and productive control of electronics through software and resource development kits for developers.
Building on the past, looking to the future
The drive for PSCR’s user interface / user experience (UI / UX) portfolio comes directly from public safety priorities. Through stakeholder engagements and roadmaps that began in 2013, the UI / UX portfolio identified seven key research areas that specifically focus on improving interactions between the technology system and the first responder. The PSIAP-AR funding opportunity is a natural progression from these previous research efforts.
“Many of these technologies have been complemented and the PSIAP-AR provided the ideal opportunity to support R&D in these domains,” said Scott Ledgerwood, PSCR’s federal program officer.
In 2018, the PSIAP-UI funding opportunity focused on leveraging virtual reality (VR) for training, testing and prototyping new systems for first aid. This research resulted in an improved understanding of how heads-up visual displays (HUDs) and other dynamic UIs affect a user’s cognitive load.
As part of the 2020 awards program, researchers will go one step further. Recipients will take the critical steps of transitioning prototypes and research concepts from a laboratory environment to the commercialization and operationalization of RA in the field. Each team will work for two to three years on their projects.