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NIST is building virtual testbeds for the evaluation of usability of user interfaces on first responder technologies.  As part of their building process, they are seeking feedback from the market on typical R&D cycles for the development of products with significant user interface components, including HUDs, wearables, haptics, audio, etc. Information sought includes typical development times from concept to commercialization, indicators of cost of development, standard testbed setups and validation steps and any other information useful in the development of next generation virtual reality or augmented reality testbeds.


Technologies used by first responders must be reliable, easy to use and durable.  As part of the validation process for new technologies for first responders, usability must be tested under realistic scenarios for fire fighters, police and emergency medical services, including but not limited to environments with low light, fire, smoke, water, noise and/or chaos. Setting up such environments for product testing is both expensive and potentially dangerous; therefore, NIST is developing virtual testbed environments to improve the validation process.  NIST is seeking feedback from the technology marketplace on the methods, cost and effort required for non-virtual environments currently in use to serve as a baseline of understanding of market need and potential users or partners.  NIST’s virtual testbed will be available as Open Source, likely in 2019.  Read more at NIST.gov.

Information Sought:

Typical development cycles for technologies with substantial user interfaces, focusing on wearable technologies and heads-up displays. Information may include:

  • Cost or resources required from concept to commercialization
  • Development time
  • Development steps/methods
  • Special considerations for first responders


Desired Partners:

  • Feedback from companies both within the first responder technology industry or from the general consumer market.
  • Companies may be large or small, with products at any stage of commercialization.


Desired outcome:

  • Looking for market baseline to improve development and positioning of virtual testbeds.
  • Find potential users and partners for NIST’s forthcoming Open Source testbed resources.

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