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Circuit Breaker

The future of AR is firefighters with infrared breathing masks


Firefighters may soon get a much needed improvement to their infrared imaging systems thanks to a pair of engineers at a research institute in Switzerland. Adrien Birbaumer and Martijn Bosch from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created VIZIR, a smart visor for firefighters that will allow them to see thermal images through their breathing mask visor while keeping their hands free.

The video demonstration shows a small square in the middle of the visor that will provide the thermal viewing area. A thermal camera is attached to the firefighters helmet, and looks to be attached via an easily movable arm in case the camera is hit by debris.

Right now, Birbaumer and Bosch have built the technology into a pair of glasses, and are currently working on converting the technology for the breathing mask. If they can pull it off, VIZIR could end up being one of the first major uses of augmented reality in the public space.