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Austrian mountain rescuers test data eyewear application during missions

22 December 2014

In the last winter season evolaris had developed and tested "Smart Ski Goggles", a leisure application for data-ski goggles that provides winter sports enthusiasts with live information via mini display. Now it is about building up on the gained knowledge to put the usefulness of smart ski goggles to a further test – during mountain rescue missions.

Graz. After a successful trial with „Smart Ski Goggles“ the previous winter season, Ski amadé is now bringing the digital experience to the slopes. Apart from the leisure sector, where Smart Ski Goggles is already highly appreciated, evolaris is now testing the usability of smart ski glasses in serious situations. In close collaboration with two mountain rescue departments in Schladming and Mürzzuschlag, a trial will be carried out during the upcoming winter season. Therefore an application for data glasses was developed which displays the GPS coordinates and enables the rescuer to have his position always in view.

“Especially in extreme situations, in which both hands ideally should remain free, data glasses can be a supportive tool to obtain essential information. The more we understand the needs of users the better we are able to develop precise and context sensitive digital assistance systems”, Gerald Binder, data glass expert at evolaris.

Five ski goggles with pre-installed software by evolaris are already assigned to the above mentioned mountain rescue centers and are being tested by the members. In a subsequent survey, users are then asked whether the utilization of data glasses is considered useful during rescue missions, as well as which additional information (location of colleagues, weather and snow conditions, avalanche warning, etc) could create added value.

Andreas Wiltschnigg, Head of Operations at the mountain rescue department Mürzzuschlag and GPS expert, showed high interest in the project from early stage on. “If new technologies have the ability to support us during rescue operations we are of course willing to take a closer look. Optimized information and orientation especially under difficult circumstances (fog, wind, snowfall, night…) are always a huge topic. To what extent data glasses have serious potential to support us during operations will be apparent after the trial. If results are promising we definitely want to continue and further enhance this project.”

Based on the results obtained from the trial, evolaris together with the mountain rescue department and Schladming 2030, wants to further enhance the application through the implementation of additional information. “We, as Schladming 2030, consider it our responsibility to enable innovation in our region and to engage in socially relevant projects. Based on the fact that we will continue to act as a venue partner within the EU-initiative Experimedia, we will also in future have access to high quality research projects. If we can use this circumstance to increase safety in our mountain area we will of course do so”, Hans Miller, CEO of Schladming 2030.

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