Photo credit: TWITTER/@SCDF

SCDF frontliners to improve operational readiness with new 5G, AI, AR technologies

The project is expected to take two years to test and integrate into SCDF’s operations.

Han Xinyi

Still doesn’t understand how the kopi c, o, kosong system works.

Published: 14 September 2023, 11:08 AM

Firefighters, paramedics and other frontliners from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will soon utilise 5G and smart technologies to assist them in various areas of their operations.

Under a new project announced by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX), StarHub, IBM and SCDF, advanced technologies such as smart glasses, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) will be used to “enhance operational readiness” and better prepare frontliners for emergencies.

Supported by IMDA’s 5G Innovation Programme, this project is expected to take place within the course of two years. The technologies will be tested out at Punggol Fire Station, which is hailed as SCDF’s Smart Fire Station and holds the defence force’s latest-generation fire emergency vehicles.

The 5G technologies that are getting tested on the vehicles include an AI-powered visual inspection and an AR-assisted real-time remote assistance.

The AI-powered visual inspection makes use of 5G smart glasses to channel voice-activated commands, step-by-step on-screen procedures and other “dynamic content” to firefighters. It would assist them in inspecting their equipment, monitor inventory and provide real-time status updates on materials.

According to the 5G project collaborators, the smart glasses and its visual inspection should “raise SCDF’s operational readiness to respond to emergencies”.

On the other hand, the AR-assisted real-time remote assistance provides commanders on ground with live video interactions with fire investigation specialists. As the interaction happens in real-time, commanders can immediately be instructed and execute actions in a timely manner.

The videos would also be annotated and help thoroughly process and analyse situations on the ground. 

During the project’s next phase, frontliners should “see full integration of solutions with backend services and ongoing field testing”. IMDA and IBM will continue supporting SCDF in building up its data governance and cybersecurity, while HTX and StarHub aid in strengthening the defence force’s technological and network capabilities.

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