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How SCDF will use AI, AR and 5G to enhance operational readiness

The two-year project will look at automating the equipment inspection process and facilitating remote assistance using smart glass

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will trial the use of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and 5G technologies to enhance its operational readiness.

The technologies will power smart glasses that will be test-bedded in SCDF’s Smart Fire Station in Punggol on its latest-generation fire emergency vehicles over two years.

The smart glasses can enable AI-powered visual inspection, voice-activated commands, step-by-step on-screen procedures and dynamic content display to reduce the time needed for firefighters to inspect their equipment and enhance the monitoring of equipment inventory. Data from the inspections will flow into a centralised dashboard to capture defects and provide status updates of equipment in real-time, raising SCDF’s operational readiness to respond to emergencies.

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Additionally, the smart glasses can empower SCDF to conduct remote assistance due to AR and the ultra-low latency and high bandwidth provided by 5G. During a post-fire investigation, the technology allows commanders on the ground to have live access to fire investigation specialists through real-time augmented annotations video interactions to assist in thorough scene processing and analysis in a timely manner.

To ensure this project meets SCDF’s operational needs, the tech arm of Home Team HTX will offer its technical capabilities and guidance. Meanwhile, IBM will deliver end-to-end solutions leveraging AI technology, automation and AR. “IBM has brought the power of AI-based IBM Maximo Visual Inspection, through 5G-connected AR smart glasses, to automate equipment inspection and ensure frontliners’ equipment readiness. Equipment tracking and maintenance data aggregated into a real-time single dashboard will also equip SCDF firefighters with data-driven operations and decision making, which is crucial for safe and successful operations,” says Ronald Castro, vice president of IBM Supply Chain.

StarHub, on the other hand, will provide secure 5G connectivity and hardware to ensure optimal performance of these solutions, with network technical expertise offered at every stage of the project. “With our StarHub 5G technology, we are proud to play a pivotal role in this game-changing project and help SCDF enhance their operations through real-time information management, operations synchronisation, and AR remote assist,” says Tan Kit Yong, head of the telco’s Enterprise Business Group.

After the two-year trial, this project will see full integration of solutions with backend services and ongoing field testing. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and IBM will support SCDF in integrating data governance and cybersecurity into the operations.

“SCDF has been piloting smart technologies to reshape the way frontliners are trained and operations are executed. The 5G-enabled fire engine makes secure, real-time transmission of high-quality videos and images achievable. Working closely with IMDA, HTX, StarHub and IBM is pivotal in pushing the boundaries of data connectivity to enhance our operational readiness. We look forward to collaborating further to accelerate the use of emerging technologies and 5G in our emergency appliances and operations,” says DC Ling, Young Ern, Deputy Commissioner for Future Technology & Public Safety at SCDF.

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