The Institute - December 2020 - TI-16

a business plan and began hiring experienced engineers
who " have the passion " and are " willing to grow with the
company, " he says.
The first round of seed funding closed in July 2019. The company won contracts worth more than US $300,000, which
went toward development, Jia says. One investor is Innovation
Solutions Canada, which helps fund the country's startups.

technologies to " jump-start them to the next generation of
technology, " he says.
" We are developing a solution, " he says, " to try and address
all three of these pain points: poor visibility, communication, and data. "
The visor uses mixed-reality technology: AR and thermal
imaging. A temperature sensor identifies the location of the fire.
The headset allows firefighters to stream live video to a central command terminal so other responders can learn details
about the structure and determine how to fight the blaze.
" In a smoky building, you can't see with the human eye, "
Jia says. " Our technology can actually see through the smoke.
It can give firefighters super vision, tell them where there's a
victim and where they can go past an object without bumping into it.
" I believe our product with AR technology could help them
prevent casualties, boost their efficiency, and send our heroes
back to their families. "
The images can be saved and reviewed later for training or
for investigations by insurance companies. Longan Vision
also plans to collect the data to create predictive models for
firefighters, Jia says.
The visor is compatible with many styles of firefighter helmets including models used in Asia, Europe, and the United
States. Jia says there currently aren't any other smart visors
for firefighter helmets on the market.

As with any startup, the biggest hurdle has been a lack of
funding for product research, design, development, and
hiring experienced workers, Jia says.
" In general, " he says, " no budget means no progress, and
no progress means death to a startup. "
The company began presenting its work at conferences
and participating in startup competitions including those
held by the IEEE Entrepreneurship initiative.
Jia says those activities helped bring visibility to the company and attract investors. The founders also developed


When The Institute spoke with Jia in July to see how the company was faring during the pandemic, he told us about Gatekeeper. In addition to AR and thermal-imaging technology,
it also uses a facial-recognition system.
Jia worked with McMaster's business incubator program, The Forge, on that detection system, which uses two
thermal-imaging tools to get accurate temperature readings.
The measurement component monitors the calibrated temperature of an area. The Gatekeeper camera component
(GCC) scans individuals who cross its path.
The gathered data is sent to a computer that has a builtin image-processing program, which looks for variances
between the two feeds. Information from the GCC produces
a visual image of each person and displays a message on the
screen identifying each individual's temperature. Should
an elevated temperature be detected, the individual can be
asked to return home or seek medical attention.
Jia says his system is less expensive than others on the
market because Gatekeeper uses off-the-shelf components.

Jia says he was humbled to receive the IEEE entrepreneurship recognition, which he says has opened up many doors.
" It's a big honor to be named an IEEE Entrepreneurship
Star. It gives us a really big thumbs-up, " he says. " Receiving
the award is also helping us on the development side. Being
part of IEEE's communities means we can actually expand
our network and access potential investors and technologies
that we can integrate into our [visor] system. "
Another benefit that comes with the recognition is a free
subscription to the IEEE Xplore Digital Library-which Jia
says he is thrilled about. He says much of his master's thesis
was based on research he found in the library.
" We need access to papers, " he says. " That means a lot to
us, to be honest. We can use the IEEE community to share
our research findings on thermal imaging, AR, and how it
helps first responders. "
This article originally appeared online as " Startup's Thermal
Imaging and AR System for Firefighters Joins the COVID-19 Fight. "


The Gatekeeper fever-detection system uses thermal imaging,
augmented reality, and facial recognition.

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