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Nomad for Firefighters

Design of Monocular Head-Mounted Displays for Increased Indoor Firefighting Safety and Efficiency (PDF)

The FIRE project at UC Berkeley is developing HMDs and wearable computing technology to increase safety and efficiency in firefighting and emergency response. The most recent HMDs presented here are closer to fulfilling the demanding requirements of firefighters. This project also aims to improve and progress wearable computing, and may be extended to wearable computing products for consumers.

The Human Interface Technology Laboratory at the University of Washington developed the virtual retinal display in the early to mid 1990s. A company called Microvision has taken this technology to the next step, now offering the Nomad HMD for $4,000. An advantage of the Nomad is its use of a laser rather than a flat panel display. This in theory can make the device quite small, light, and able to provide very high resolution and brightness. The laser can be adjusted intense enough to easily see images against bright backgrounds, or dim for low light conditions. It is currently too bulky, however, to fit within a firefighters mask, and probably not durable enough to survive outside the mask without extra protection, considering an operating temperature range of only 0-45 °C23.

Concept C, the Microvision Nomad, has a cost disadvantage. Advantages include its ease of adjustability for comfortable viewing, and its high image quality. According to Microvision, this system has the potential to become smaller and less expensive; therefore it has been kept as a candidate.
Thanks to mayor of bushwood.


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