First responders (blue light personnel) include paramedics, police officers and firefighters. During this project, we tried to find challenges and solutions for this special user group, and together with FLIR, the world leader of infrared camera technology, we explored new insights and design opportunities.
Umea Institute of Design
Site visit at Sandö, a firefighter is putting down the fire with a fire extinguisher
Site visit & Research & Workshop.
We observed an annual collaboration training in Sandö, Sweden where all three first responders practice and learn from each other. We tried different types of equipment and watched how they reacted to accidents.
I also started visiting the local fire station from the beginning. Using different methods we generated ideas and directions together in teams and that is also where I found my interest in fire fighting.
Where is the fire and victim?
Most of the time, the smoke blocks the view completely. although both smoke divers are equipped with a thermal imaging camera, only the one behind can use it and have to verbally communicate with the other, because controlling the water nozzle requires both hands.
What if with a new FLIR tool, that allows smoke divers to see through smoke and find fire or victims easier and quicker than before? With a tool being part of the water nozzle? I started with storyboard, exploring possibilities and prototyping.
Thermal image on hands.
With the idea of integrating thermal image with the fire nozzle, I went to the fire station and asked what they think about it. Team leader Larvin really loved this idea as it would make the fire fighting a lot more efficient and easier.
Prototyping, and ideation.
But where should different components be located and how it will affect both the product and user experience? I tested out different ideas along the way.
I also made different mockups and sketches to find out the best form for the design, also keeping the FLIR design language in mind.
SCOPE allows firefighters to see through dark and smoky fire scenes quickly and easily all within the palm of their hands.
By using the FLIR thermal system, it gives more freedom and efficiency, so that fire can be put down faster and more lives can be saved.
See what you aim at.
It requires no other hand to hold or operate during the mission, the screen and sensors are located on the top of the nozzle, which ensures fire fighters can see what they are aiming at.
Locate fire faster.
The lightweight thermal module on the top of the nozzle allows firefighters to locate objects (fire or victims) much faster and lets them put down the fire with no distraction.
Using the FLIR Scope during a fire fighting mission.
FLIR MSX® adds visible light details to thermal images in real-time for greater clarity. The ultrasonic sensor determines the distance to an object and it works perfectly in smoke or dark environment.
The intuitive mode changing function consists of only two buttons, by pressuring either one, users can switch between different color modes for different tasks.
Clip on and go.
The detachable design makes SCOPE easy to carry and charge, and its rugged rubber material can provide full protection against water, heat, or dropping.
An integrated tool.
Unlike the traditional thermal camera, you can hold it while also using the water nozzle, the experience is intuitive. The lead smoke diver, therefore, can react much quicker compared to listen to the instruction from the one behind, and attack fire more strategically, keeps better track of lives.
Fire fighters can adapt to the new tool without a learning curve.
FLIR has a strong design language in its DNA, and by talking with designers from there, I learnt and tried to bring the FLIR Scope concept also into the family.
With sturdy material and robust curves over the product, the Scope concept also introduced a reflective yellow color which represents Firefighters.