SkyFire Consulting is helping firefighters use drones to save lives

Determined to improve public safety, SkyFire Consulting works with police and fire departments to implement the use of drones in varying aspects of their efforts. SkyFire’s work is mainly done behind the scenes as it aids Federal Aviation Administration training and certification for public safety departments.

“We help [public safety organizations] identify their use cases, their missions, and identify what equipment will help them best,” SkyFire CEO Ben Kroll told Digital Trends at the Drone Rodeo at the 2018 CES expo. “We will assist with the FAA certification process and whatever route they want to go that way. We also do [public safety] training, we have several customizable training programs that we offer departments.”

Besides for training and certification, SkyFire also focuses on pairing the proper drones for the appropriate public safety department. For example, with fire departments, SkyFire teaches firefighters how drones can be location scouts with thermal imaging to see where they should focus on extinguishing a blaze.

SkyFire, however, does not build or provide custom drones. Instead, SkyFire helps public safety departments understand drone technology and know which drones they should purchase to best fit their needs.

Despite the beneficial use of drones for public safety, not everyone is on board just yet. Due to concerns about privacy, policies for drone usage aren’t yet that nuanced and some local governments may have even placed strict restrictions on the use of drones. These challenges are nothing new for SkyFire, as it works with municipalities and local governments to make the use of drones by public safety departments more acceptable and an actual reality.

“Politically, there is a lot of misinformation about what drones can and can’t do,” Kroll said. “We try to advocate to municipalities [that] if they are going to have sort of drone restriction or drone ban, make an exemption for public safety. Public safety can really use this as a tool.

“We’ve seen lives saved ultimately from the adoption of the technology.”

Emerging Tech

Where are they now? A look back at last year’s Top Tech of CES winners

What happened to the 14 prize-winning products we singled out as the coolest things we saw at last year's CES 2018? Join us as we take a look at what the past 12 months has meant for them.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? You totally can with these top-of-the-line drones

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Web

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.
Emerging Tech

Watch China’s moon mission touch down on the planet’s far side

Video has been shared of a lander's-eye view of China's Chang'e 4 mission touching down in the Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon. The craft captured footage of the descent with a camera which was attached to the probe.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX nails its first launch and landing of 2019, but job cuts loom

SpaceX has nailed its first launch and landing of 2019 with a mission that deployed more satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications. But the success was soured somewhat by reports of upcoming job losses at the company.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.