UAV training for first responders. Success = Right technology + Right training

UAV technology has some pros and cons. Earlier on, we posted articles about the pros and cons of UAVs for first responders.

Here is a summary:


Augmented Reality and Drones!

The new superhero! DRONE- Lifesaving Deliveries

The key to successful use of drones for first responders is perhaps training. Learning when the technology should be used and how to use it to enhance or fill a gap in the current standard operating procedures is the key to success. That is why the Florida International University  (FIU) Academy for International Disaster Preparedness has introduced two new certificate courses for UAV usage for first responders.

According to the website,, the courses and details are below.

1. UAS/Drone Operator Public Safety Course

Venue: Florida International University

The UAS/Drone Operator Public Safety Course provides hands-on training to law enforcement, fire rescue, EMS, and other public safety personnel who want to learn about how unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – a.k.a. “drones” are changing the way public safety agencies operate. For more information and how you can register, please visit the hyperlink above.

2. UAS/Drone Management for Disaster Response

Venue: Florida International University

This 40-hour workshop will provide a framework for emergency responders, airspace managers, and UAS operators to examine the challenges associated with deploying UAS and to demonstrate the advantage that they offer in disaster response and recovery. For more information and how you can register, please visit the hyperlink above.

These courses not only open up discussions about the pros and cons of drone usage for first responder scenarios, it is perhaps settings the standards for when and how they can be used. When new technology is introduced to “replace” the way things are done now or claims are made about how the technology can enhance the way things are being done now, there are often those that believe it from the onsite, some that take convincing and others that will refuse the idea altogether. By having courses like these that foster communication and discussions, it is heading in the right direction.

Flexible and Stretchable Biobatteries

This entirely textile-based, bacteria-powered bio-battery could one day be integrated into wearable electronics. Credit: Seokheun Choi

Wearables are amazing. However, like all technology, it is great when things are working and you have the battery charged to last your tasks. Batteries and the evolution of them play a huge role in the impact of technology solutions. We reported on blendable batteries in a previous blog.

and also what a company named StoreDot is working on

StoreDot ranked #1 in list of the 100 most disruptive startups in the world- Charge your phone in less than 5 mins

Here is another paper that was recently published titled, ” Flexible and Stretchable Biobatteries: Monolithic Integration of Membrane-Free Microbial Fuel Cells in a Single Textile Layer”.

This new battery has the ability to remain stable while stretched and moved over and over again. This makes it a very viable option for wearable technologies that might be body worn and even embedded in the body. Wearable tattoos anyone?

Your next tattoo might save your life – Wearable tattoos are coming

Check out more about the paper here:

Check out what else they are working.  Microbial Fuel Cells


First Responders get FirstNet- dedicated private internet

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The internet has changed our lives. It all started with the US government in the 1960s conducting R&D which led to the linking of networks in the early 1990s. Since the introduction of smartphones and the reduction of the size of computer hardware, we now literally have the internet in the palm of our hands 24/7.

Where do we go from here? The internet enables us to connects but what about a private internet? There are anonymous web browsers like TOR aka the Darknet. According to Wikipedia,  the darknets which constitute the dark web include small, friend-to-friend peer-to-peer networks, as well as large, popular networks like TorFreenet, and I2P, operated by public organizations and individuals. So there are ways to have subsets of the internet or privacy on the internet.

Perhaps the next big thing is an internet dedicated to specific roles. Think of it as a private lane on the information highway.

That is exactly what we are about to see at CES 2018. FirstNet, from the U.S. First Responder Network Authority and AT&T, is a platform built for just public safety and people to help keep them safe and secure. ‘TOR’ and ‘I2P’ are data encryption systems that run on top of ‘the internet’. ‘FirstNet’ is something that is running on its own physical network that is distinct from ‘the net’. Therefore if people (general public) are using up all the bandwidth it will not affect the Firstnet communications that are working on their own frequency.

FirstNet will address these challenges with a single, secure, nationwide network running on a band of 700 Mhz spectrum dedicated to public safety and built to the same open, international standards of all LTE networks.

Canada is also working on something similar called, Public Safety Broadband Networks.

Public Safety Broadband Networks are secure high-speed wireless data communications networks. These can be used by emergency responders and public safety personnel to communicate with each other in emergency situations and during day-to-day operations, and hold the potential to improve the effectiveness and safety of first responders and the public safety community.

Read more about PSBN here:

This will change the way first responders do their jobs. A reliable and dedicated network that allows communicating critical information in emergency situations. With this network will come dedicated applications for first responders only. Kind of like a google play store or app store but just for first responders. This could expand out to other network-enabled technologies such as camera-equipped connected drones and robots; improved location services; and wearable technology that could relay a patient’s biometric data. FirstNet is officially a nation-wide service, as all 50 states, two U.S. territories and Washington D.C. joined the public safety wireless broadband network.

Can’t wait to hear all about it from CES as FirstNet will debut the first Public Safety Track at the 2018 CES conference in Las Vegas, NV. CES runs starts on Jan 9th.

Read more about FirstNet here:

Watch a video about FirstNet here:

Apple of my eye

This Apple patent illustration for AR glasses shows how virtual information could be overlaid onto the real world. Image: Apple

Is Apple getting into the AR headset game? This latest patent seems to suggest it. The patent was published in Europe and hints at Apple working on near-Eye displays for augmented reality glasses.

This was reported by patently apple.

Apple notes in their patent filing that electronic devices may include near-eye displays that present images close to a user’s eyes. For example, devices such as virtual reality and augmented reality headsets may include near-eye displays with optical elements that allow users to view the displays.

This means we could soon see an Apple AR headset out on the market. Perhaps even in 2018. This is exciting news. This aligns well with their ARKit.

Check out more about the patent here:

No internet No problem. Firechat is the perfect solution in the state of emergency.

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When disaster strikes, the world can feel like it has turned upside down. In cases of natural disasters, like a hurricane or flooding, the first thing people do is make sure their loved ones are safe. This is where technology can help with numerous social media platforms available in the palm of your hands. You can text your parents to make sure they are safe or broadcast a message to all your friends and family that you are in a safe place. With smart phone technology, it is great when it works and you have an internet connection. A natural disaster can knock out major networking infrastructure, thus rendering smartphones almost useless for communication purposes.

This is where an innovative social media application called FireChat comes in to play. It has been around for a short while but it is still one the best solutions out there for communication within a crowd without the use of an internet connection. FireChat is a free messaging app for public and private communications that works even without Internet access or cellular data.

According to OpenGarden, the makers of FireChat,

FireChat has reached the top 10 among social networking apps in 124 countries. Communities around the world use it to overcome communication challenges. Here are some of the notable examples:

  • Natural disasters including floods in Kashmir (April 2015) and Chennai (October 2015), the eruption of volcano Cotopaxi in Ecuador (August 2015), and hurricane Patricia in Mexico (October 2015).
  • Massive events: pro-democracy protests in Taiwan (April 2014), Hong Kong (September 2014), the Bersih anti-corruption movement in Malaysia (August 2015), and the visit of the Pope in the Philippines (January 2015).
  • Historical elections in Venezuela (December 2015) and the Republic of the Congo (March 2016).
  • Large festivals in India, Canada and the US, including Burning Man

Here is how FireChat works,

I highly recommend that everyone has this application on their smart phone device. You never know when you are going to need it. First responders should also have this application available in case there comes a time when it is might be the only way to find out what is happening in a disaster zone. It is highly applicable to emergency services in rural areas.

On a related note, now OpenGarden is working on giving you tokens for sharing your internet connection. Check out more here:

Open Garden wants to give you tokens for sharing your internet connection

Magic Leaps into facial recognition, identity authentication, and document verification

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The long-awaited Magic Leap is finally here. As previously mentioned, it is one of the most secret startups in the AR world. They have raised a ton of funding ( looking for 500M more) and is valued at almost 6 billion dollars. That was even before anyone even seen the AR headset. The company is set to release its first set of the Magic Leap in Feb 2018 to a lucky selected few early developers. It has now finally been unveiled the Magic Leap glasses to the public. Of course, it might just still be a prototype but the invention is evolving as we speak. Interesting, Magic Leap’s new patent application links facial recognition, identity authentication, and document verification and could signal the stealth company’s interest in cyber security applications. This will expand the capabilities and target specific applications. This new patent targets security. If it works as claimed, this will change the way airport, border, and police officers identify individuals. The use of AR and AI can help control our borders and assist first responders with providing critical information in real-time.

Magic Leap Mixed Reality Headset. (Image: AFP Relaxnews)

From Hollywood to reality, a real-life RoboCop might not be too far away.

From : RoboCop, The Movie



To read more about the recent new patent click on the link below.





The best way to predict the future is to create it. –Peter Drucker

The future is hard to predict. Nostradamus was probably known as the most famous predictor ever. He was a French physician who published collections of prophecies that have since become widely famous. I wonder if he was still alive what he would predict in the world of wearable technologies for the future.

I guess we will never know.

At least we can try to predict what might be coming in 2018. Here is a list from

50 wearable tech predictions for 2018

Click here to see the list:

Reliability assessment of wearables for first responders?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology will test wearables marketed to first responders. It will be interesting to know how they can quantify if something is reliable. Perhaps some subjective feedback but it would be interesting to see how they quantify and compare.

According to Wikipedia, a measure is said to have a high reliability if it produces similar results under consistent conditions. “It is the characteristic of a set of test scores that relates to the amount of random error from the measurement process that might be embedded in the scores.”

Here is a summary of the article,

NIST plans to begin testing products at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Rockville, Md. About 20 devices will be tested, including both phones and wearables (headsets, smart clothing, body cameras, and heads-up displays).


What do think? Do you think wearables are reliable enough for public safety?

To read more about the article, click below:

Hey Alexa, lets go to the beach!

When smart glasses first came on the market, the glasses weren’t very discreet. You could tell if someone looked like a cyborg. Even with the Google Glass now, you can tell when someone has them on. Far from fashionable and discrete. In this case, it might be the barrier smart glasses manufacturers need to get over to go mainstream for commercial use.

Image result for steve mann
Steve Mann- This depicts the evolution of wearable computers

Of course, with time, technology always gets better and sleeker. LET VisionAI Glasses (still in prototype stage) is the latest set of SmartGlasses that looks the most fashionable in the smart glasses market. Although it doesn’t have a display system, which kind of puts it in its own categories, it still has some amazing features.  It essentially acts as a Bluetooth headset in the form of a pair of sunglasses. It integrates with Alexa, Siri or Google Now. Using these AI power voice recognition systems, you can connect it to any internet of things devices.

There are a variety of different styles to choose from:

Take Alexa anywhere with AI-Powered LET Glasses Bone conduction audio, voice assistance and gesture control, custom and prescription lens available.
Check out more and eventually where to buy these here:


Ok Google – any personalized treatment suggestions? Show me the patient’s smart electronic health records.

The job market is changing every day. With technology playing a key part in almost everything we do now, new jobs are being created. Two jobs that have been trending and will become a huge part of the future job market is machine learning and big data. Big data has been a surging skill in the evolving job market for the past 5 years or so. Machine learning is the fairly new kid on the block but it has potential to take over big data-related jobs. See below according to Google Trends,

Google Trends, Big Data, Machine Learning, AI, Data Science, Deep Learning, April 2017
Fig: Google Trends, May 2012 – April 2017, Worldwide “Big Data” vs “Machine Learning” vs “Artificial Intelligence” vs “Data Science” vs “Deep Learning” search terms.

How does machine learning jobs relate to the medical world? Well, the Google in-house Brain team (yes, Google has one of these), along with the machine learning division is working with Stanford University to run a pilot study using voice recognition to transcribe doctor, patient visits. This means the doctor can technically spend more time with the patient and less time on the computer or writing down notes from the conversation. It also helps reduce the amount of time the doctor spends managing records and typing in notes made during the visit.

Does this also give us the added bonus of clear and printed Doctor’s prescription notes? No more bad handing writing? Maybe,  although somehow some way the pharmacist always seems to be able to read bad handwriting.

Anyways, if the claim is true, less paperwork means more patient time, that changes the Doctor’s office experience. This aligns with what BrighterSight wants to do for the paramedics.

Click below to read more about Google Brain and Stanford’s voice recognition pilot study:


Google Brain & Stanford study using voice recognition to transcribe doctor, patient visits

2. Paper


Related information:

1.Click below to see a related concept/device from Nuance( Dragon dictation),
Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2