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New market for Google Glass: Firefighters? (+video)

A North Carolina firefighter has demonstrated how Google Glass might be used by rescue personnel. 

By Matthew ShaerCorrespondent / January 22, 2014

Firefighter Patrick Jackson with his Google Glass headset.

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Google Glass, the smart headset from the crew at Mountain View, is expected to go into public release at some point later this year. Until recently, most of the buzz around the device has centered on what might be termed its more quotidian potential uses – checking e-mail without pulling a phone out of your pocket, streaming navigational directions directly to a heads-up display, taking pictures with a blink of an eye

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Patrick Jackson is a Google Glass Explorer, developer and firefighter from Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He is building Glassware that could one day help firefighters by providing hands-free access to the information they need.

But a new video being circulated by Google demonstrates how Google Glass might also be leveraged to aid first responders and other rescue personnel. In the video, a North Carolina firefighter (and "Glassware" developer) named Patrick Jackson wades into a burning structure using a pre-loaded map to make his way through the smoke.

Later, he asks Google Glass to load up an extraction diagram of a wrecked Ford Explorer SUV

So how far is the widespread usage of Google Glass-like devices in rescue situations? Well, it's hard to say.

But Mr. Jackson, for his part, is already envisioning how a Glass-equipped firefighting force might look. "I'll hear a little notification and can look up into the top corner of my vision and see a map of where it is," Jackson explained in an interview with CNN. "I see the location of the incident and what type of call it is." 

In related news, last week a California court official dismissed a citation against Cecilia Abadie, a California woman ticketed for driving while wearing Google Glass. A San Diego Court Commissioner said that there was no proof that the video function on the headset was turned on.

"I believe it's an initial success but we have a long way to go," Ms. Abadie said in a press conference outside a San Diego courthouse.

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