Unseen areas are troublesome for police and first responders: Rooms can harbor dangerous gunmen, while collapsed buildings can conceal survivors. Now Bounce Imaging, founded by an MIT alumnus, is giving officers and rescuers a safe glimpse into the unknown. In July, the Boston-based startup will release its first line of tactical spheres, equipped with cameras and sensors, that can be tossed into potentially hazardous areas to instantly transmit panoramic images of those areas back to a smartphone.
“It basically gives a quick assessment of a dangerous situation,” says Bounce Imaging CEO Francisco Aguilar MBA ’12, who invented the device, called the Explorer.
Launched in 2012 with help from the MIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS), Bounce Imaging will deploy 100 Explorers to police departments nationwide, with aims of branching out to first responders and other clients in the near future. The softball-sized Explorer is covered in a thick rubber shell. Inside is a camera with six lenses, peeking out at different indented spots around the circumference, and LED lights. When activated, the camera snaps photos from all lenses, a few times every second. Software uploads these disparate images to a mobile device and stitches them together rapidly into full panoramic images. There are plans to add sensors for radiation, temperature, and carbon monoxide in future models. Follow the full article on MIT News