Singapore rolls out AI, AR project for national civil defence

Singapore rolls out AI, AR project for national civil defence
Image Credit: SCDF

To be tested at one of SCDF's station.

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Singapore's Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is set to enhance the operational readiness of firefighters through a new 5G project built with artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) solutions.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) along with HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency), StarHub and IBM announced the project to enable SCDF to automate the equipment inspection process and facilitate remote assistance using smart glasses.

SCDF's deputy commissioner for future technology & public safety, Ling Young Ern, said the agency has been piloting smart technologies to reshape the way front liners are trained and operations are executed.

“The 5G-enabled fire engine makes secure, real-time transmission of high-quality videos and images achievable," he added.

The AI-powered smart glasses can enable SCDF personnel to perform visual inspection on their equipment and enhance monitoring of inventory, assisted by voice-activated commands, step-by-step on-screen procedures and dynamic content display. Pre-recorded video instructions can also be accessed through the glasses.

Data from the inspections will flow into a centralised dashboard to capture defects and provide status updates of equipment in real time.

"This will raise SCDF’s operational readiness to respond to emergencies," the project partners said in a joint press release.

The ultra-low latency and high bandwidth that standalone 5G offers could also help onsite personnel to consult fire investigation specialists through real-time augmented annotations, and video interactions and get assistance in scene processing and analysis in a timely manner.

IMDA said the two-year project will initially be tested at one of SCDF’s stations (Punggol Fire Station) with the next phase for integration of solutions with backend services and ongoing field testing.

SCDF aims to collaborate further to accelerate the use of emerging technologies in its emergency appliances and operations in future.

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