This organization is seeking a means of providing indoor navigation that will enable a first responder to understand how they should proceed to get from their current location to a point of interest.

The indoor environment may be a structured environment or an unstructured environment depending on the nature of the emergency, including fire, panic, water damage, etc.  The optimal solution will be capable of functioning in any indoor environment and will provide the first responder with enough context to allow them to accurately navigate in real time.

Background:

There are many technologies offering accurate, real-time navigation in outdoor environments, but applying the same principles to indoor navigation has been difficult.

When first responders enter a building during an emergency situation, they may encounter chaos, smoke, fire, water, loud noises or building damage that make navigating to points of interest challenging.  The indoor environment presents a challenge compared to outdoor environments, as there are no street signs or defined building data sets from which to pull navigation information, particularly if there has been building damage.  First responders often rely on navigation provided by an operator outside the building to find rooms, closets, entryways, etc.

A system that enables real-time navigation based on indoor reference points would be a valuable tool for increasing the safety of first responders and the speed of response.

Guidelines/Constraints:

  • Solutions may address operation in structured or unstructured environments. Capability in both environments would be ideal.
  • Solutions may be enabled through technology worn on a first responder or remotely. If worn on the body, solutions should be able to withstand harsh operating conditions
  • The ideal solution should provide easily understood directions in real-time. Solutions that are not strictly visual are also of interest.
  • Solutions should help first responders understand where they are, where they need to go, and how to get there
  • Solutions that allow first responders to be tracked remotely are also of interest.

Possible Solution Areas:

Solutions may include hardware or software.  Algorithms that can convert location-based information into directions are of interest.

Desired outcome of the solution:

This organization would like to find solutions that allow for high fidelity indoor navigation.  Highly interesting solutions may be tested against reference scenarios or evaluated for further development.

Field of use and intended applications:

Indoor navigation for first responders during emergency response scenarios.

Previously attempted solutions:

Remotely-administered human instructions.