Ten startup companies have been selected to be part of EMERGE 2016: Wearable Technology, a program designed to bring startups, accelerators and other strategic partners together in a common research and development effort by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T).
EMERGE 2016: Wearable Technology is focused on wearable technology that can be modified specifically for first responders as part of a partnership with the Center for Innovative Technology, a nonprofit corporation in Virginia that is a driver of innovation and entrepreneurship; TechNexus, a venture collaborative that works in conjunction with leading corporations and the global entrepreneurial ecosystem; and the Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, whose expertise ranges from energy and the environment to national security issues.
The program will conclude with opportunities to explore pilot and path-to-market opportunities with the first responder, corporate and investor communities later this year.
DHS said in its announcement that, “First responders have a tremendous need for devices such as body-worn electronics, advance sensors, and integrated voice and data communications embedded within their gear. Wearables can integrate multiple technologies and minimize additional equipment while maximizing effective response efforts.”
“This is an important step for S&T to tap into the innovation ecosystem,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science & Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “We need to find technologies for first responders that can be integrated directly into their existing gear. The entrepreneurial world is on the leading edge of those inventive solutions.”
“As part of the program, the 10 startups will have access to first responder feedback, industry partners and investors, and business development educational resources from mentors around the business world,” DHS said, stressing, “The access and resources available will assist in early market validation efforts, test and evaluation opportunities, and the establishment of a path to introduce their technologies to a variety of markets, including government sector partners.”
Last month, DHS S&T highlight its recent First Responders Resource Group (FRRG) meeting displaying different S&T technology demonstrations first hand.
An all-volunteer working group that includes members of law enforcement agencies, fire departments, emergency medical services, emergency management and other disciplines, the FRRG’s goal is to help DHS S&T’s maintain focus on the top-priority needs of responders in the field. The members are drawn from the major first responder disciplines and from all regions of the country, according to DHS. Each year, the FRRG gathers to determine priorities for the coming year and discuss progress on current projects.
The 10 selected EMERGE startups are:
Augmate, New York, New York, developed a provisioning and management platform for wearable devices that helps IT departments track users and their devices, collect sensor data, communicate with workers and control approved applications and situational connectivity.
CommandWear Systems, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, developed a software platform that integrates location and biometrics data from devices to provide personnel tracking, two-way text communication and video sharing to facilitate planning, mission execution and review operations among teams.
HAAS Alert, Chicago, Illinois / Detroit, Michigan, has a mobile vehicle-to-vehicle communication platform that uses acoustic sensors to pick up environmental and situational noise, and location data to connect people, vehicles, and things in cities, streamlining the disaster and emergency notification process to keep communities safe.
Human Systems Integration, Boston, Massachusetts, developed an integrated system that includes remote physiological monitoring. The system provide a plug and play wearable situational awareness and communications platform.
Lumenus, Los Angeles, California, created smart clothing that uses LED lighting and connectivity to improve visibility of consumers and industrial workers.
LuminAID, Chicago, Illinois, createddurable, low cost, and low profile inflatable solar lamps that can be stored efficiently and easily deployed.
Pear Sports, Los Angeles, California, has a coaching and training application that uses biometric signals like heart rate, VO2 max, location, and environmental data to build training programs that improve the long-term health of users.
Six15 Technologies, Henrietta, New York, produced rugged wearable devices for military and industrial use that stream video and display data using augmented reality overlays for better situational awareness.
Vault RMS, San Diego, California, created a software platform that leverages biometric and situational data from wearable devices and other inputs to build a long-term health profile of workers exposed to health-compromising environments, driving improvements in health, safety and overall worker productivity.
Visual Semantics, Austin, Texas, created software that integrates with cloud-enabled wearable cameras and heads up displays to provide real-time facial recognition and alerts to help first responders more intelligently assess and react to situations in the field.