Interactive Media Systems, TU Wien

ProFiTex - Providing Fire Fighters with Technology for Excellent Work Safety

Research project in the area of Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Keywords: work safety, protective clothing, Fire brigade, textile-based system, emergency responders, personal protective equipment.

About this Project

The aim of project ProFiTex is to support fire fighters in their perilous work with a system that supplies mission-relevant information without overwhelming the fire fighter. The design approach will be user-centered with tests starting at an early point in the project to gain maximum user acceptance. Professional fire fighters will be involved from the beginning of the project to ensure, that the system will be tailored to their needs. Project ProFiTex will continue the work of the successful EU-funded project wearIT@work.

The ProFiTex system comprises electronic devices like an infrared camera, localisation sensors and a human-computer interface device integrated into the fire fighters jacket. Since wireless communication is difficult over long distances and through several walls of a building, an innovative method to transmit information will be applied. A security rope carried by fire fighters during a mission shall be equipped with data transmission capabilities. This allows information to be sent outside to the command post and back to the fire fighter. By monitoring several parameters of the fire fighters condition like his movement pattern and stance, problems can be detected immediately. The fire fighter himself is supplied with the possibility to navigate even in smoky environments thanks to the infrared camera and the positioning system implemented into his equipment. Localized information (e.g. door, victim) can be fed into the system using the garment-integrated human-computer interface device. Information will be displayed to the fire fighters, their group leaders and the commander outside the building. The amount and type of information supplid will be carefully chosen, considering the physical danger and psychic stress fire fighters are opposed to. Work safety of fire fighters shall be increased, thus lowering the number of work-related accidents and casualties. Fire fighting missions will be more efficient using the system.

Project Partners

Texport GmbH (Salzburg), D'Appolonia Spa (Genova), TEXCLUBTEC (Milano), HEAT GmbH (Düsseldorf), RWTH Aachen, Controlling (ORT), active Photonics AG Visualisierungs- und Kommunikationssysteme (Villach), LABOR S.R.L. (Roma), ACCELVISION GBR (Remagen), ACONDICIONAMIENTO TARRASENSE ASSOCIACION (Terrassa), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderu der angewandten Forschung e.V. (München), ETH Zürich (ORT)

Funding provided by

European Commission

Additional Information

System Overview

ProFiTex System Overview

3D Reconstruction and Thermal Mapping

Fire fighting remains a dangerous profession despite many recent technological and organizational measures. Sensors and technical systems can augment the performance of fire fighters to increase safety and efficiency during operation. An important aspect in that context is the awareness of location, structure and thermal properties of the environment. This work focuses on the design and development of a mobile system, which can reconstruct a 3d model of a building's interior structure in real-time and fuses the visualization with the image of a thermal camera. In addition the position and viewing direction of the fire fighter within the model is determined and a thermal map can be generated from the gathered data, which could help an operational commander to guide his men during a mission.


Winner of the  INiTS Award for Information and Communication Technology 2013
1st place

Press Material