February 27, 2013

Firefighters Hope Technology Helps it to Get Less 'Hot In...So Hot in Here'


One of the most selfless jobs out there is that of a firefighter. Running into a building engulfed in flames as opposed to running with all your might as far away from the scene seems like a nightmare to me, yet when innocent lives are at stake, there are many brave souls out there who want nothing more than to help.

For those kindred spirits out there with dreams of excelling in an illustrious career where they save people, animals and property alike, technology is helping to make it a little easier for trapped individuals to be found. According to researchers from Italy, a new imaging system that powers an infrared laser can essentially cut through thick fog and smoke that arise when a fire is started to create a 3D model of every item within a certain room.

Originally reported by BBC News, a variation of this product is already being utilized by fire brigades worldwide, yet the lenses used in the IR cameras can be quickly blurred when set up within an environment where a raging fire is taking place. So to combat this, researcher Pietro Ferraro of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) Istituto Nazionale di Ottica in Italy said in a statement, “It became clear to us that we had in our hands a technology that could be exploited by emergency responders and firefighters at a fire scene to see through smoke without being blinded by flames, a limitation of existing technology."


Image via stevespak.com

And just when you thought this next generation innovation couldn’t get any better, it does. It can even detect a moving person trying to remove themselves from the blaze, which will significantly improve the chances of both the victim and the savior exiting this dangerous atmosphere in one piece. This is just the beginning, as new breathing and cardiac functions are currently being tested that could soon be added to the machine in the near future.

Holograms are not only being used to protect the public, but entertain them as well. Back in April of last year at the Coachella music festival, one of the greatest rappers of all time, Tupac, was immortalized on stage when his image popped up during the show. Snoop Dogg, who despite his well known cannabis habit, later joined for a debut in a showcase of the song “2 of Amerika'z Most Wanted.” Creepy indeed, but pretty cool as well.

Also in August, BusinessWeek predicted that Apple devices will soon come complete with hologram features. This forecast was made primarily because of the company’s patented three-dimensional display system that can display a hologram without mandating special glasses to see it.

“The Apple hologram system would detect who is watching, and be able to display different images to different people. The patent states ‘individual observers … can be uniquely identified based upon distinctive personal characteristics (e.g., height, shoulder width, distinctive outline, etc.),’ allowing outbound beamed projections to be changed for each observer. This would enable everything from private holograms to personalized advertising. In business video calls, you could project yourself in a suit for the upper executives in the room and a more relaxed view of yourself in jeans for the younger tech hipsters,” the piece added.

While holograms are continuing to infiltrate all areas of our lives, including enhancing our quality of life and our overall entertainment, I can’t help but hear rapper Nelly’s popular lyrics, “Hot in...So hot in here…”




Edited by Allison Boccamazzo



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