The University of North Carolina at Greensboro will receive almost $2 million in federal funding to develop augmented reality, or “AR” programs, for first responders.

The concept of AR technology is similar to that of virtual reality. The idea is to display AR information and images over a user’s real-world vision.

Officials are envisioning a future in which real-time critical data can be relayed to public safety workers including EMS personnel, firefighters, and law enforcement officers.

The funding to develop the AR interfaces comes from the National Institutes of Standards and Technology.

Regis Kopper is part of the team that will be working on advancing the technology at UNCG over the next three years. They will be collaborating with the Raleigh-based tech company NextGen Interactions, along with the state Department of Information and Technology and the Hillsborough Police Department.

Kopper says in a news release that the goal is to decrease emergency response times, costs, and risks to both workers and the public.

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