New Infrared Tech Will Let Firemen See Through Flames

By Leslie Horn on at

Firefighters will actually be able to see through flames thanks to infrared hologram technology, a new study in Italy has found.

Researchers created a system that cuts through smoke with infrared lasers. The lasers bounce off of anything—people, furniture, pets—and go back through an imager to show the firefighters a 3D view of everything around them. Current infrared camera monitors firefighters use are much more limited. They can be blinded by thick smoke and flames because they have a lens that must zoom in on light. Smoke, for example, makes it hard to focus.

The new system is amazing because it can record up to five people in a room, even if they're moving. The firefighters will be able to see them in holograph form. Before the can actually be used, it has to be refined to be smaller and more portable. But once it gets to that point, hopefully that means more lives saved. [Optics Express via BBC News]