Augmented Reality Gets Real for First Responders

An app from Mercedes is showing augmented reality is moving beyond gaming. 


If the recentt obsession over the Pokemon Go smartphone app is any indication, the whole world seems to be enamored with augmented reality (AR)—even if tolks don’t recognize the technology by name.

In fact, AR is starting to hit a groove outside of gaming as a number of companies experiment with use cases for the still nascent technology. Luxury car giant Mercedes-Benz is one. Similar to competitors like Audi, Mercedes is tapping AR for its glitzy marketing prowess to create interactive user manuals and sales tools.

But Mercedes is pushing AR even further. According to a CNET article, Mercedes has come up with a Rescue Assist app that leverages AR to show first responders how to safety enter a vehicle. The idea is to leverage AR capabilities to serve up data—things like digitized blueprints and schematics--directly on the car in question, helping first responders avoid cutting into high-voltage cables, batteries, or other potentially dangerous components while they are mid-rescue.

All new Mercedes, Smart and Fuso vehicles come with a QR code that, once scanned, opens the app's relevant data page. Owners of vehicles as old as the 1990 model year can have a dealership affix a simiar QR code tot heir cards, so they can participate as well.

Clearly AR is no longer just for fun and games.

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