Augmented Reality in Public Safety: An Advanced Eye for First Responders

June 7, 2021
June 7, 2021/Blog

Augmented Reality in Public Safety: An Advanced Eye for First Responders


When talking about VR or AR, most people will probably think of gaming or entertainment. But the use of Augmented Reality technology is rapidly increasing in many industries, including Public Safety.

As crime evolves and digitalization accelerates, AR is becoming a go-to solution for agencies looking to achieve more effective and dynamic approaches towards training and emergency response.

Training with AR

Creating realistic, complex training scenarios in the real world can be time-consuming and expensive for agencies. Due to this, agencies are turning their training approach towards augmented reality, so that first responders can be given reality-based situations in a life-like virtual environment.

AR is like projecting the real world into a virtual space and interacting with it. Using an AR headset or glasses, officers can experience situations like visiting a hostage situation, conducting a traffic stop, firearm training, etc in the virtual world, which empowers them to upskill more quickly. According to renowned educator Edgar Dale’s ‘Cone of Learning’, we remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear and 90% of what we experience. So, the immersive training experience provided through AR can be more effective than traditional training methods.

Emergency Responses with AR

Emergency conditions like robbery, accidents, fire, and rescue require a quick response and easy access to intelligence about a location. Augmented Reality devices can provide real-time intel like building layouts or suspect information visually overlaid onto the real world to help responders make informed decisions. The 365 RealTime system, for example, works with the Microsoft Hololens to put an entire command center with location intel and live video feeds right in front of the wearer’s eyes, while still allowing them to see and interact with the real world. Using an AR headset or glasses allows responders to view the intel hands-free, which is more practical than trying to view information on a cell phone while responding to an emergency.

Also, officers can view important information without even being physically present at the location. For example, using AR to virtually walk through a location where the robbery just happened, investigators can thoroughly review the scene to capture important evidence.

For agencies to build an agile, future-ready workforce and meet the needs of the community, Augmented Reality is a promising technology that can be implemented to train new recruits, help officers refresh their skills, and provide better intel for responders.

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