Dec 23 2019

Verizon Supports AI-Focused Companies to Help First Responders via 5G

The carrier works with innovators to give them the tools they need to develop public safety solutions using 5G wireless networks.

Verizon recently unveiled the five companies that make up the third and final group of innovative startups it is working with to develop 5G public safety wireless solutions

Verizon launched its 5G First Responder Lab in November 2018 to identify 15 promising technology companies and give them access to 5G technology to develop, test and refine 5G services and products for public safety. The ultimate goal, as Verizon first outlined, is to “deliver those solutions to public safety agencies throughout the country.”

The startups in the third cohort will focus on developing artificial intelligence weapon detection, geospatial intelligence, autonomous security and smart cities solutions, all powered by Verizon’s 5G network. 

The startups were announced in November at a three-day public safety event hosted by Verizon and Nokia, where cutting-edge technology for public safety was demonstrated in live simulations by real first responders and government officials. 

5G networks’ high bandwidth and low latency, or network delay, are seen as critical elements for public safety applications such as immersive video, augmented reality, video streaming and AI-based solutions. 

“As our final cohort of the year, we’re excited to welcome Cohort 3 to the 5G First Responder Lab,” Nick Nilan, director of public sector product development at Verizon, said in a statement. “The innovative technologies developed and fostered by Cohorts 1 and 2 will make an incredible difference in the market and we can’t wait to see what Cohort 3 develops during their time in the Lab.”

The new startups include:

  • Edgybees, augmenting live video feeds captured from any camera, human input or other data sources to provide clarity on operational environments
  • SimX, a company building virtual reality and augmented reality medical simulation software for medical training
  • Knightscope, developing autonomous security capabilities including self-driving technology, robotics and AI
  • Lumineye, providing wall-penetrating radar sensing to help first responders identify people through walls
  • ZeroEyes, advancing a life-saving active shooter solution that uses AI to actively monitor camera feeds to detect weapons

Verizon indicated the third cohort marks the end of “the first year of the program,” a signal the lab will continue its work into 2020 and beyond. 

“Our commitment to enabling technology for public safety will continue to strengthen, with anticipated growth initiatives to be announced for 2020,” the lab’s website states

Previous cohorts brought together technologies that focused on advanced imaging, drones, VR training and education for public safety and smart city technology. Verizon recently organized a showcase experience in Washington, D.C., where the first responder community, public servants and state and federal officials came together for demonstrations from the five companies that were part of the second cohort.

MORE FROM STATETECH: Find out how 5G network slicing technology can benefit public safety. 

How 360-Degree Cameras Aid First Responders

MAGnet Systems is one of the 15 companies chosen to be part of the lab, and Verizon recently highlighted the company’s solutions

MAGnet uses smart sensors, 360-degree cameras and live streaming video to rebuild a 3D digital replica of the real world essentially in real time within a video sphere. 

First responders can then select the area they want to monitor and immerse themselves in that video sphere. The 360-degree camera also streams real-time video overlaid with 3D maps, which lets first responders click on any object within the video and get geographic coordinates, plus track objects in 360 degrees over the camera’s AI framework

“With 5G, we can stream full 4K video and do much better analytics so we can recognize, categorize and classify objects ranging from cars to people to firearms,” MAGnet’s CEO Evangelos Foutzitzis said in a statement. “Over 5G, we’ll be able to identify objects with better clarity and at longer ranges.”

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