Wearable Technology “dresses” the civil defence unit.

Amaro, December 17th 2007

A fireproof uniform with integrated physiological sensors, a helmet fitted with day/night-vision video cameras and a rugged wrist computer that can withstand extreme conditions. This description fits the new uniform of the Italian Civil Defence Unit which will be created using Eurotech technology and will allow the civil corps to work and simultaneously communicate and exchange multimedia data, in “hands-free” mode, with the command and control centre.

This was the subject of the agreement signed today between Eurotech and the Civil Defence Unit of Friuli Venezia Giulia to supply civil defence operators working in extreme conditions with a fully wearable and non-invasive computerised system for visualisation, calculations and communications.

The objective is to improve safety conditions for squad members on the field, equipping them with a sort of ‘personal mini command and control centre’. This will enable them to receive from the command and control centre, in real time, all the multimedia information (maps, videos, information, audio) needed to complete their task, therefore optimising coordination and management of the missions.
The new uniform is fitted with internal sensors that continuously monitor vital body functions of emergency workers, recording heart rate, body temperature, and hydration levels, and keeping a constant eye on overall health status.

Two independent video cameras are located on the helmet - an infrared camera that detects heat sources and provides improved visibility in dark, smoky and foggy conditions, and a second, highly sensitive camera which is efficient even in poor light conditions - to visualise the images picked up and transmit them in real time to the command and control centre through a dedicated radio channel.

All the devices and their functions are coordinated via a Zypad Rugged around the wrist, on which images and data can be both visualised and transmitted to the emergency dispatcher. An incorporated GPS system also pinpoints the exact location of the wearer and generates a map of the area.

The Rugged model is part of the Zypad product line, a line of wearable PCs conceived and built by Eurotech. Distinguished for its ability to work under extreme conditions, its technical characteristics make it resistant to blows, shocks, temperature changes, and immersion in water, as well as guaranteeing full operating capacity in explosive environments.

“All this helps us improve our guidance of the action on the field,” announced Guglielmo Berlasso, Regional Director of the Civil Defence Unit and Scientific Director of the project, “and achieve exceptional safety for our teams. Thanks to the constant monitoring of physiological parameters, we can be aware of every single danger situation and the vital signs of our squad members. This is truly a case of technology at the service of mankind.”

Wearable, intelligent technology that can exchange data in real time, under extreme conditions, is no longer a goal for the future; it's here in a project that opens new frontiers. Eurotech will be able to introduce this technology worldwide as of the second half of 2008 in the homeland-security sector.




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