UK Gov appoints Brandwidth
UK Government Digital Service have appointed Brandwidth the winners of a £550,000 GovTech Catalyst grant to develop a next-generation AR-based platform.
19th Nov 2019
London, 19th November 2019 – The UK Government Digital Service, in conjunction with InnovateUK, and the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, have appointed Brandwidth the winners of a £550,000 GovTech Catalyst grant to develop a next-generation AR-based platform designed to improve situational awareness of emergency workers.
The appointment follows an RFP process with around 120 respondents, mostly from across the UK and European Defence sector, followed by a competitive pitch among the five finalists, which cultimated in Brandwidth being awarded both the innovation grant and contract to supply the subsequent product to the UK Fire & Rescue Service.
Brandwidth will now partner with the fire and rescue service to develop an x-ray style solution which will give fire commanders the ability to ‘see through walls’ to protect firefighters in high-risk scenarios using an AR visualiser.
The agency’s proposed solution will use a highly innovative combination of sensors, delivering tracking information to present the real-time location of firefighters via a cutting-edge AR visualiser. The visualiser will plot the firefighters’ location in real-time and flag abnormal motion information, painting a live picture of the environment that a firefighter is moving around in – without the need for access to pre-existing floorplans.
Brandwidth have also suggested that the service use a highly innovative combination of sensors, to deliver the appropriate tracking information which will relay the real-time location of firefighters.
As well as being invaluable in emergency situations, the tool will also provide a robust audit trail and enable the fire service to better understand what actually happens in often compromised environments and turbulent scenarios – driven by tragedies such as the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.
It’s been a humbling experience working with the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, and we’re delighted to have built such a strong partnership with them. Our close relationship has enabled us to create a cutting-edge, potentially life-saving solution to their everyday challenges.
The solution could also be adapted to help track anyone working in high-risk or hostile environments, including police, ambulance, humanitarian and military security personnel.
Our fire commanders often have very little information about where a firefighter is, once they’re deployed beyond the threshold of a building. This highly innovative solution from Brandwidth should transform our ability to track and protect our firefighters in high-risk situations. We were really impressed with Brandwidth’s collaborative approach to our brief. They worked closely with us to help define our challenges and agree a clear direction, with a direct interface between the tech requirements and our end users, the fire commanders and fire fighters on the ground.