By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Back in April, we posted this article on teknovation.biz about Avrio Analytics and its plans to develop training using augmented reality (AR). Last week, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Alicia Caputo notified us that the first product is now on the market.
Named Forge, it is focused on firefighters, providing hands-on training in digital, but realistic environments that simulate real emergencies. Utilizing artificial intelligence, biometric tracking and AR, Forge gives firefighters the size-up, communication skills and situational awareness needed to respond when real emergencies arise.
“Firefighters need to be ready for any situation at a moment’s notice,” Caputo said. “We are thrilled to offer first responders a custom, cost-effective training solution that prepares them to appropriately handle any scenario they may face while serving the community.”
The Forge system is fully customizable and can be used to simulate a variety of scenarios in realistic and safe settings when actual buildings aren’t open, coordination of multiple fire companies is difficult, or repetition is needed prior to live drill training. Detailed scenarios simulated through the training include fires, building size ups, both residential and commercial, chemical spills, vehicle accidents, and triage.
Caputo says that departments looking for smarter, more cost-effective training solutions have turned to AR-based training and Forge is currently being utilized by Golden Fire-Rescue in Golden, CO, and Platteville-Gilcrest Fire Protection District in Gilcrest, CO. For Lieutenant Joe Bechina of Platteville-Gilcrest, Forge offers a distinct advantage.
“We used to do dry erase board lessons or random structure drills as part of our training,” he said. “We also had a limited two-dimensional software program, but it wasn’t doing well for us. With Forge we now have a more inclusive program that makes training easy and everybody loves using it.”
Forge’s technology offers an alternative to high-cost training and reduces the risk of injury and equipment damage. Using Forge is simple and can be done from any location at any time. Users don one of the lightest AR headsets in the industry and carry a handheld device. The simulation places the user into the training simulation where they can move through a scene. The instructor can easily follow along with another headset or device. The system can also include multiple users in one simulation. Forge allows an officer or instructor to create scenarios and then review the outcomes to ensure that vital size-up information is helping paint a detailed picture for the needed situational awareness.
Founded in 2016 by Caputo and Mik Bertolli, Chief Scientific Officer, Avrio’s current focus is on AR training for first responders and the federal government. Its solutions take the guesswork out of workforce and infrastructure operations with the goal of increasing efficiency and decreasing risk with technology and methodology that are proven to deliver high ROI for mission-critical operations.
The two Co-Founders split their time between Colorado and Knoxville, and Caputo says the company’s headquarters is officially in Knoxville as Avrio supports its largest federal client.