Georgia Tech Students Invent Firefighter Version of the Video Game Health Meter

They've brought an icon of video gaming into the real world.


Two Georgia Tech students have brought an icon of video gaming — the all-important health bar — into the real world to help keep firefighters safe.

With FireHUD, a real-time heads up display (HUD) system that monitors and displays biometric and environmental data to firefighters, engineering students Zachary Braun and Tyler Sisk have won the university’s 2016 InVenture Prize that comes with a $20,000 prize and a free patent filing through the university, which will help the process of taking their product from development and onto the heads of actual firefighters.

Here’s how it works: FireHUD attaches to a firefighter’s mask and measures heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level, the firefighter’s body temperature, and the external temperature. The firefighter can see the data via his helmet display while fighting a fire, and his superiors can see the data on an app or computer screen. This is crucial for firefighters in the heat of action who may not realize that they are overexerting themselves.

A display showing Fire HUD data on each firefighter. When one of the levels is too low, the firefighter would come off the scene and recuperate before heading back into the fire.

Georgia Tech

The team will next represent Georgia Tech in the first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) InVenture Prize competition that pits student inventors from all of the ACC schools against each other.

After that, Sisk and Braun have bigger plans.

“We’re going to work to further develop our product and try to get more feedback from firefighters and make it a reality,” Sisk said. “That’s our goal in the end.”

Wobble, a device that measures concussions, won second place and $10,000. TruePani, the only all-female team that made it to the final six, won the People’s Choice award and $5,000 for their water container design that kills harmful microbes using copper-lined metal.

The other finalists included a robotic soccer goalie that can retrieve balls for you, A.I. that teaches guitar, and a system to increase the number of electric car charging stations in parking lots.

Here’s the awards video:

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