Sam Cossman was hit by a big idea next to a lava lake. With his sight obscured by fumes and vapors, he couldn’t be confident of his next step. Traditional thermal imaging was a solution, but not an ideal one. So, Cossman cofounded Qwake Tech with Dr. John Long, Ömer Haciömeroglu, and Bahar Wadia.
Qwake Tech’s augmented reality system, C-Thru, is built into a futuristic helmet and relies on a thermal imaging camera, toxicity sensors, edge detection, and an AR display to cut through smoke with useful visuals. It might have been born in a volcano, but Qwake Tech thinks the system has wider applications in disaster situations, such as a burning building.
The company is working with firefighters to improve current handheld thermal imaging, which requires a firefighter to stop, hold up a device, look through it, interpret the display, put it down, and move forward. C-Thru’s display is positioned in front of the eyes, providing a hands-free AR video feed. It further clarifies the video by highlighting key details with bright edges. The company says this will allow firefighters to move much more quickly through buildings.