The wildfires that spread across Northern California for two weeks in November were among the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history. Ultimately, the incident claimed 85 lives, and hundreds of people are still missing in the wake of the disaster, which impacted over 154,000 acres of land.
Such a catastrophe can prove to be especially dangerous for the firefighters who risk their lives to contain it, but, thanks to smartglasses technology, they can now do their jobs a little more safely.
DJI recently published a video showcasing how the Menlo Park Fire Department, which sent teams to combat the massive wildfire, deploys drones, paired with Epson Moverio smartglasses, to assess a wildfire.
By giving firefighters a bird's eye view of a wide area, they can assist colleagues in navigating the scene from a remote location and warn them of danger. With the technology in the field, they can work faster and more safely.
Another fire department adopting the combination of DJI drones and Epson smartglasses is the Winnepeg Fire Paramedic Services team in Canada.
"It's hard to imagine how we would have done this without that aerial perspective," said Chief John Lane of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service in a blog post. "It's been instrumental in providing really high-quality intelligence that we couldn't have seen in any other way."
The combination of drone and smartglasses technology allowed crews to contain a fire at an asphalt plant, preventing the ignition of more than four million liters of asphalt oil. Specifically, the aerial viewpoint helped them accurately spray a special foam for suppressing chemical fires while maintaining a safe distance from the blaze.
While these kinds of smartglasses are generally designed to make factories and other enterprise users more efficient, the ways that the technology may make first responders more effective could lead to saving more lives, which is an even more worthwhile pursuit.
Among smartglasses makers targeting enterprise and government clients, Epson has carved its own niche in the drone operator market with its Moverio devices, including its latest edition that can tether to smartphones, computers, drones, and other devices via USB-C connection.
Now, as fire departments and other emergency professionals begin to see the benefits of smartglasses use during emergency situations, Epson may be poised to lead the way toward making these kinds of wearable devices standard emergency response equipment everywhere.