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FAQ

Below you’ll find a list of frequently asked questions and answers. If you have any further questions about the Haptic Interfaces for Public Safety Challenge, please email [email protected] .

What is the goal of the Haptic Interfaces for Public Safety Challenge?

The PSCR Haptic Interfaces for Public Safety Challenge is an open innovation competition that asks innovators to team together to create haptic interface prototypes that will improve public safety operations. Public safety officials perform tasks in a variety of environments that severely limit their senses and ability to communicate. PSCR has been collaborating with innovators to help us advance interfaces that allow public safety users to effectively interact with and obtain information from the system while ensuring public safety devices are designed around public safety’s operational needs.

The purpose of this specific challenge is to assess the potential of using virtual reality environments as a development tool to prototype and iterate on designs for public safety technology. The challenge also seeks to investigate the relevance of haptic interfaces for assisting in first responder tasks.

Why the focus on haptic interfaces?

First responders perform tasks in a variety of environments that severely limit their senses and ability to communicate – such as limited visibility from smoke and obscurants; noises from sirens, respirators and the environments; etc. Currently, PSCR is exploring the relevance of haptic interfaces, which use the sense of touch to convey information when sight and sound are limited, as haptic interfaces might be one solution to help first responders overcome current communication barriers and limitations. A haptic interface integrated into a first responder’s personal protective equipment (PPE) could assist the user in performing tasks such as monitoring patient vitals, navigating complex spaces with limited visibility, or maintaining situational awareness. This challenge will supplement PSCR’s other research activities as contestants compete in this challenge using different haptic hardware, platforms, etc. designed for three different first responder applications.

What are the opportunities for entrepreneurs?

This challenge provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs to focus on market discovery and validation through the recommended partnering with local first responders and demonstration at the 2019 Stakeholder Meeting. The challenge also pairs developers and haptic providers for additional partnership opportunities and connections. Additionally, the challenge partners (such as the First Responder Network Authority and FirstNet, built with AT&T; and MSA Safety) will share their innovation process and ways entrepreneurs can engage with their organizations. The optional prize award of up to $3,500 in business technical assistance services could help advance contestants innovation and/or entrepreneurial pursuits.

Who’s eligible to participate?

Please review the eligibility rules portion as part of the Official Rules.

  • Individual: Individuals can participate in the competition if they meet the eligibility requirements as stated in the Official Rules.
  • Teams and/or Businesses: Teams and businesses can participate in the competition as a “Contestant” if they meet the eligibility requirements as stated in the Official Rules.
  • Green card (not U.S. citizen): Foreign citizens may only participate as a team member through an eligible U.S. entity or team. Foreign citizens are ineligible for receiving the prize awards.
  • Federal employees: Federal employees can apply as independent citizens but not within the context of their employment.
  • SBIR recipients: If you are a current SBIR recipient, you may not use any government funding toward competing in the challenge.
  • Current PSCR grantees: Current PSCR grantees are not eligible to participate in this challenge.
  • Past PSCR grantees: Past PSCR grantees are eligible to participate.
  • Current/Past PSCR challenge participants: Past or current PSCR challenge participants are eligible to participate.
Can I submit a proposal for both contestants’ entries, the haptic provider/manufacturer and the developer?

No. Contestants may only submit one proposal as either a Haptic Provider or Haptic Development Team.

Do I have to participate in the first phase to participate in a latter phase?

Yes. All contestants must participate and be invited to advance through each phase in order to participate in the final evaluation phases and compete for the final prize awards.

Why does this challenge utilize Unreal Engine compared to other real-time rendering engines?

PSCR utilizes Unreal Engine due to the vast array of tools that come included with the engine by default. This allows PSCR to rely less on third party tools and software during production, which speeds up their iteration time when building new features.

What happens to my intellectual property?

Please review the submission rights as part of the Official Rules. Contestants will retain all intellectual property rights. Contestants are granting PSCR the right to publicize the contestants’ name and participation. As PSCR will retain the prototypes submitted in phase 4, contestants are also granting PSCR a “demonstration license” for additional research purposes.

Official Rules

Summary of Important Dates

all in 2019

PHASES START DUE JUDGE &
NOTIFICATION DATE
DEMO &
COMPETITION
Phase 01
Concept Paper
March 18 May 3rd at 5pm ET  May 10 N/A
Phase 02
Teaming
 May 13 May 21 May 23 N/A
Phase 03
Demonstration of Haptic Interface Prototypes in Virtual Reality
May 24 June 26 July 3 July 9-11
Phase 04
Evaluation Round 1: Haptic Interface Prototypes in Virtual Reality
July 9 Aug 23 Sept 10 N/A
Phase 05
Evaluation Round 2: Haptic Interface Prototypes at Firefighter Navigation Course
Sept 10 Nov 5* Nov 15 Nov 5-7*

Phase 01- Concept Paper

START: March 18

DUE:  May 3rd at 5pm ET

JUDGE & NOTIFICATION DATE:  May 10

DEMO & COMPETITION: N/A

 

Phase 02- Teaming

START:  May 13

DUE: May 21

JUDGE & NOTIFICATION DATE: May 23

DEMO & COMPETITION: N/A

 

Phase 03- Demonstration of Haptic Interface Prototypes in Virtual Reality

START: May 24

DUE: June 26

JUDGE & NOTIFICATION DATE: July 3

DEMO & COMPETITION: July 9-11

 

Phase 04

Evaluation Round 1: Haptic Interface Prototypes in Virtual Reality

START: July 9

DUE: Aug 23

JUDGE & NOTIFICATION DATE: Sept 10

DEMO & COMPETITION: N/A

 

Phase 05- Evaluation Round 2: Haptic Interface Prototypes at Firefighter Navigation Course

START: Sept 10

DUE: Nov 5*

JUDGE & NOTIFICATION DATE: Nov 15

DEMO & COMPETITION: Nov 5-7*

* For Phase 05, PSCR is currently targeting the live competition to occur November 5-7, 2019, but will announce and finalize the dates and location of the live competition no later than September 1, 2019. Due date of the prototype embedded in PPE will commence at the start of the live competition.