RescueGlass: Collaborative Applications involving Head-Mounted Displays for Red Cross Rescue Dog Units
On-site work of emergency service teams consists of highly cooperative tasks. Especially during distributed search and rescue tasks there is a constant mix of routinized and non-routinized activities. Within this paper we focus on the work practices of the German Red Cross Rescue Dog Units who deal with several uncertainties regarding the involved dogs, the fragility of the respective situations as well as issues of using technologies under enormous time pressure. Smart glasses provide possibilities for enhanced and hands-free interaction in various contexts and a number of approaches have already been applied, aiming at efficient use of the respective technological innovation in private and professional contexts. However, the collaborative potential of smart glasses in time-critical and uncertain situations is still unexplored. Our design case study examines how the on-site work of emergency service teams can be supported by smart glasses: Based on examining the work practices of the German Red Cross Rescue Dogs, we introduce ‘RescueGlass’ as a coordinative concept, encompassing hands-free head-mounted display (HMD) application as well as a corresponding smartphone application. Finally, we describe the evaluation of its use in the field of emergency response and management. We show how current features such as ‘fog of war’ or various sensors support the cooperative practices of dog handlers, and outline current technical limitations offering future research questions. Our paper provides an initial design probe using smart glasses to engage in the field of collaborative professional mobile tasks.