SINTEF said on April 22 that company researchers developed a system that would allow emergency responders to receive text messages via hands-free device attached to the sleeve of their jackets.
The jacket was developed with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The prototype has an LCD screen and electronics sewn into it, allowing the responders to be in wireless contact with one another, according to Gizmag.
The hands-free electronic system alerts the wearer to a new message by sounding a buzzer in the jacket collar, and scrolls the message across the screen attached to the jacket sleeve.
While mobile phones and devices could be used to send and receive messages to emergency responders, it is unlikely firefighters in particular would want to, or be able to, retrieve their devices from their pockets when a message is received. Additionally, many cellular networks are not available during emergencies, Gizmag reports.
The jacket's Wi-Fi system relays a single message from jacket to jacket no more than 164 ft. apart. The network was originally developed to enable social media platforms to share messages. At this time jacket-wearers are only able to receive messages, and not respond to them, according to Gizmag.