A New Thermal Mask Allows Firefighters To See Through The Smoke
One of the most difficult jobs on the planet is that of a firefighter. In an environment where the first thing you think to do is run away, these brave men and women run towards the danger. However, a huge disadvantage of fighting fires is not being able to see through the smoke after running to to save people.
There have been systems in place to see through the smoke, but they’re been limited to devices that the firefighters have to hold in their hands when their hands should be free to fight fires and to help save people in need.
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“Conventional systems require you to hold the camera, so you can look into the screen – but for firefighters to not have a free hand in a dangerous environment is not ideal,” said Graham Wilson, director at Design Reality, who was given the job by firefighter equipment manufacturer Scott Safety to create a mask to respond to the problem of seeing through smoke.
The camera used in the mask is called Sight. It’s around 8 ounces, so it isn’t something that will really weigh the firefighter down at all. It will project a thermal image within the mask at nine FPS (frames per second). The setting of Sight can also be configured with a smartphone app, which makes things even easier for the firefighter when they need to adjust quickly.
Check out the potentially life-saving mask demonstration below:
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.