1. Introduction

1.1 Problem Statement

Knowing the layout of a home and the resources required when answering a call can save emergency responders precious seconds in an emergency where literally every second counts. Conducting a fire safety inspection in the home can significantly decrease the risk of fire. However, while critically important pre-incident plans and inspections are conducted for commercial or public buildings, residential properties are not subject to these activities. In the last 10 years, over 34,000 civilians and 95 firefighters died while fighting structure fires inside residential properties.

This contest focuses on identifying and demonstrating approaches that incentivize citizens to create fire-safety checklists and pre-incident plans of their homes in a way that is easy-to-use, rewarding, meaningful, and scalable for deploying nationwide. In the next few years, 3D cameras will be common in smartphones, tablets, AR/VR headsets, drones, and robotic appliances. This hardware, along with practically unlimited cloud computing power, will enable homeowners to collect and process 3D scans of their properties and create an unprecedented opportunity to scale a potential solution. With over 121 million occupied housing units in the U.S. alone, this problem is both a tremendous challenge and a massive market opportunity.

1.2 Objectives

Participants will develop a prototype application that transforms 3D scans collected by users into three outputs: 1) an innovative product or service for the user, 2) a fire safety checklist for the homeowner, and 3) a pre-incident plan for the local fire department. While the latter two outputs are what’s important to public safety, the innovative product or service should be the “hook” that incentivizes users to collect and submit the data. In addition to the meaningful fire-safety outputs created by the process, there should also be an engaging purpose to encourage use by homeowners.

For all three outputs, participants are strongly encouraged to exploit the wealth of spatial and image information that is in the 3D data to provide innovative products or services, new insights into residential fire safety, and enable as much automation as possible. Participants are also encouraged to think carefully about the potential business model and ability to scale the approach. There is a wealth of information on the Internet about fire safety checklists and pre-incident plans, however participants are encouraged to engage with their local fire department to understand their most compelling needs. In addition, participants are invited to attend one of the local events to consult with subject matter experts and obtain their input in person.

There are very important questions about how pre-incident information is integrated with local dispatch systems and presented to emergency responders during operations. However, these questions are not the focus of this contest. Instead, this contest is focused on discovering new approaches that will encourage citizen users to willingly collect and share this information, and engage in a more meaningful dialogue with their local public safety organizations.

1.3 Resources

2. Evaluation criteria

Participants must adhere to the basic application requirements listed below. Failure to do so may result in non-grading of the application.

Criteria #0: Basic Requirements

Rating: Pass/Fail

  • Related to Criteria #1-3: The solution demonstrates all three required outputs:
    • An innovative product or service for the user. (Pass/Fail)
    • A fire-safety checklist for the homeowner. (Pass/Fail)
    • A pre-incident plan for the local fire department. (Pass/Fail)

Criteria #1

Rating: 20/100

  • This criterion will be evaluated by an in-person demonstration at a codeathon or by using the narrated video.
  • Product or Service: The extent to which the demonstrated product or service offered to the homeowner is innovative and will incentivize users to scan their homes to generate the fire safety checklist and a pre-incident plan that they share with their local fire department. Further, the extent to which the approach would encourage users to update their information periodically or after major changes, e.g., remodeling

Criteria #2

Rating: 20/100

  • This criterion will be evaluated by an in-person demonstration at a codeathon or by using the narrated video.
  • Fire-safety checklist: The extent to which the demonstrated fire-safety checklist is innovative, insightful, accurate, and meaningful to homeowners, and will help prevent fires.

Criteria #3

Rating: 20/100

  • This criterion will be evaluated by an in-person demonstration at a codeathon or by using the narrated video.
  • Pre-incident plan: The extent to which the demonstrated pre-incident plan is innovative, insightful, and accurate, and will be useful to firefighters when responding to residential emergencies.

Criteria #4

Rating: 20/100

  • This criterion will be evaluated by accessing the required outputs as described in the responsiveness checklist above.
  • Functionality: The extent to which the required outputs are functionally complete, correct, and appropriate, and return results consistent with those demonstrated in earlier criteria.

Criteria #5

Rating: 20/100

  • This criterion will be evaluated by accessing the web or mobile app prototype and required outputs as described in the responsiveness checklist above.
  • User Experience: The extent to which the prototype demonstrates good user-centered design, a high level of automation (i.e., minimal manual entry required by the user), and the required outputs are appealing and easy-to-understand for both the civilian and public safety users.

3. EXPECTED DELIVERABLES FROM PARTICIPANTS

Review the How to Participate instructions in section 3 of this document to ensure that you are prepared for the in-person Regional Codeathon or Online Contest. The following deliverables will need to be included with the submission:

  • A completed submission form through techtoprotectchallenge.org
  • A 3-minute narrated PowerPoint file or 3-minute narrated video with the following sections:
    • A summary of the submission.
    • Demonstrate the required outputs and provide insight into the design choices that were made.
    • Basic information about the participant or participant’s team.
    • Specific requirements of the contest that are being addressed by the participants.
    • Two to four screenshots of the solutions or prototype.
    • Overview of key functions included in the submission.
  • Any available files or links to the developed solution or prototype.
  • Any additional files based on the contest description.
  • Specific to this contest and in reference to criteria items 4 to 5: a link to a prototype of a web or mobile app created with the prototyping tool of their choice (e.g., InVision, FluidUI, Proto.io, etc.) that enables a reviewer to interact with and evaluate the design as a potential user. This prototype should make it clear to the user what additional data (e.g., number of occupants, type/number of household pets, etc.), if any, is required to create any of the three required outputs. PSCR will provide this additional information, along with 3D scans that will be used for final evaluation, via a secure file sharing platform (SFSP). The provided 3D scan will be in a format consistent with the data used to evaluate criteria 1-3 below. The SFSP will notify PSCR when the scan(s) have been accessed and downloaded, at which point the participant will have two hours to reply with the processed outputs. Note, there may be multiple scans provided at different times during the final evaluation. The outputs must be available using common file formats/containers, e.g., .jpg, .pdf, .avi, .ply, etc. Participants should contact the challenge team if there are any questions about file formats.
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