The two-year trial is touted as SEA’s first for civil defence purposes, involving AR smart glasses and AI visual recognition.

In a new two-year 5G pilot project involving smart glasses, AI and augmented reality (AR) technologies, Singapore will be test-bedding the enhancement of the operational readiness of the country’s civil defence forces (SCDF).

At smart fire stations, personnel will be able to cut the time needed to inspect their equipment and also improve the management of equipment inventory. This can be achieved with AI-powered visual inspection processes; voice-activated commands; and smart glasses displaying step-by-step on-screen procedures and dynamic content. The collected equipment inspection data will flow into a centralised dashboard to provide status updates of equipment in real-time.

During investigations after a fire, 5G will enable the civil defence force to provide remote assistance with augmented reality devices. For example, commanders on the ground will have “live” access to fire investigation specialists through real-time augmented annotations and video interactions to speed up scene processing and analysis.

In a subsequent phase of the two-year trial, solutions will be fully integrated with backend services and ongoing field testing, as well as additional data governance and cybersecurity.

According to Dr Ong Chen Hui, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Media Development Authority: “As one of the first in the world to achieve nationwide 5G standalone coverage, and as the first country to extend public 5G SA coverage to sea for maritime operations, IMDA will continue to build a robust future-ready digital infrastructure that meets both current and future demands.”  

Said Ling Young Ern, Deputy Commissioner for Future Technology & Public Safety, SCDF: “The 5G-enabled fire engine makes secure, real-time transmission of high-quality videos and images achievable … 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.”

Other partners in the pilot include HTX, IBM (for end-to-end solutions leveraging AI technology, automation and AR, such as 5G-connected AR smart glasses) and StarHub (for secure 5G connectivity and hardware).