How Artificial Intelligence & Augmented Reality Can Benefit the Fire and Security Industry

June 21, 2022 | By: mm-admin

The sheer amount of data shared today is simply staggering. According to SIA Megatrends 2018, “Every minute, more than 400 hours of video are uploaded onto YouTube, 156 million e-mail messages sent, and 3.8 million searches conducted on Google.” With so much data being shared in a society that’s constantly connected, new challenges arise in parsing through this data to determine what’s important. Not to say the video of the raccoon trying to wash its cotton candy isn’t important, but information regarding the safety of your building takes precedence. Thus, the benefits of AI & augmented reality in the fire and security industry have become more prevalent. The amount of data shared every day is only going to grow, so AI and AR technology must grow along with it.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence spans a whole spectrum of uses. It’s the use of technology to perform tasks that would normally require human intervention. It can simulate visual perception, speech recognition, and decision-making. Through machine learning, artificial intelligence can correct its own mistakes. Making it more efficient without the need for regularly pushed updates or revisions. When presented with the task of sifting through an enormous amount of data, companies will often use artificial intelligence to take care of the problem for them.

Think about YouTube. With such a massive amount of content being uploaded to their platform every second, it’s a near-impossible task to employ a team of people to wade through all the videos to ensure nothing inappropriate is slipping through the cracks. Thus, Google incorporates a machine learning algorithm that ‘watches’ the content being uploaded and denies anything that doesn’t meet their standards. This is not a perfect system, and has historically led to challenges for YouTube creators. However, with a stage as large as YouTube’s, artificial intelligence – even in a relatively early state – is the best option.

Security Benefits

Artificial intelligence is applicable to your business’ security as well. As Willem Ryan points out in his article, How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Video Surveillance Today, “…today there are too many cameras and too much recorded video for security operators to keep pace with…AI is a technology that doesn’t get bored and can analyze more video data than humans ever possibly could.” With modern AI technology, searching through recorded video becomes more akin to using a search engine online.

If an incident were to occur at your building, artificial intelligence would make it easier to pinpoint the data using key descriptors. For example, the colour of a suspect’s clothing – rather than having to scrub through hours of footage hoping to find something. This is doubly important when you consider people’s declining attention span. How many times have you watched an entire episode of a television show only to realize that you haven’t retained anything because you’ve been looking at your phone? Artificial Intelligence doesn’t have this problem. All the information thrown at security personnel can lead them to miss something. AI monitoring security footage assists by alerting individuals to the most important data, ensuring they don’t miss a thing.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is something that we saw become commercially available with the (now somewhat defunct) Google Glass. Users would wear this device in the place of eye glasses. These glasses would then overlay information like: Google Maps, Twitter, Facebook, etc. As a first attempt at consumer grade AR, it was novel. Unfortunately, its price and limited functionality resulted in its fall to the wayside.

Since then, other companies have leaned harder into AR. Apple’s new iPhone support apps that place animated characters or information on screen with the help of the devices’ cameras. The major downside with this level of augmented reality is that users have to hold their phone up during use, breaking immersion. Microsoft has been working on their HoloLens. A bulkier yet more powerful device than Google Glass. However, it is still somewhat pricey for the average user at around $5000.00 for a non-developer-kit.

Real World Applications

It’s easy to see how a first-responder could benefit from this technology. AR in firefighter headgear displays building layout, mass notification system, and urgent communications. Piping info into visor ensures effective job tools. Augmented reality could deliver crucial data with unprecedented immediacy.

In a world where data is shared at a rate once thought impossible, artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in digesting information, and augmented reality is poised to increasingly use this method for displaying data. Don’t worry, artificial intelligence and augmented reality’s increasing prevalence is not an indicator of Cyberdyne’s uprising. Instead, these technologies are going to be paramount in keeping our buildings, assets, and lives safe.