Design of monocular head-mounted displays for increased indoor firefighting safety and efficiency

Joel Wilson, Dan Steingart, Russell Romero, Jessica Reynolds, Eric Mellers, Andrew Redfern, Lloyd Lim, William Watts, Colin Patton, Jessica Baker, Paul Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Four monocular Head-Mounted Display (HMD) prototypes from the Fire Information and Rescue Equipment (FIRE) project at UC Berkeley are presented. The FIRE project aims to give firefighters a system of information technology tools for safer and more efficient firefighting in large buildings. The paper begins by describing the FIRE project and its use of a custom wireless sensor network (WSN) called SmokeNet for personnel tracking. The project aims to address urban/industrial firefighting procedures in need of improvement. Two "user-needs" studies with the Chicago and Berkeley Fire Departments are briefly presented. The FIRE project's initial HMD prototype designs are then discussed with regard to feedback from the user-needs studies. These prototypes are evaluated in their potential costs and benefits to firefighters and found to need improvement. Next, some currently available commercial HMDs are reviewed and compared in their cost, performance, and potential for use by firefighters. Feedback from the Berkeley Fire Department user-needs study, in which the initial prototypes were demonstrated, is compiled into a concept selection matrix for the next prototypes. This matrix is used to evaluate a variety of HMDs, including some of the commercial units presented, and to select the best design options. Finally, the current prototypes of the two best design options are presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
Pages (from-to)103-114
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2005
EventHelmet - and Head-Mounted Displays X: Technologies and Applications - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Mar 28 2005Mar 29 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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