When the consortium is in the mood for meetings, it’s in the mood for meetings. Less than two weeks after our media production pilot and the first plenary on Corfu, we got together yet again. On May 17th, we met in the “Sala Chiesa” at the beautiful, historic Palazzo Trissino al Corso, located in the center of Vicenza. Our goal this time: Do an XR4DRAMA risk/disaster prevention and management test run, led by consortium member AAWA and their local partners, the emergency control crew of Vicenza municipality.

Our first day started with an introduction to the project and an overview of the different components. Our technical partners presented the various technologies that make up the XR4DRAMA platform and help its user improve their situation awareness.

Martina Monego (AAWA) giving an overview of the project.

In the afternoon, we updated/re-installed all necessary apps and tools (developed by Nuro, up2metric and CERTH), so that team AAWA could test functionalities for first responders and citizens. Furthermore, we had a first hands-on session with the smart devices and wearables developed by Smartex (physiological sensing) and also fired up the XR4DRAMA VR mode. With the help of lots of images taken during drone flights (performed by up2metric), a complex 3D model of the whole city center of Vicenza had been generated beforehand and could now be explored immersively and extensively. And that was day one.

3D model of the city center of Vicenza generated by up2metric.

Lisa Napolitano (AAWA) wearing VR goggles and visiting the virtual recreation of Vicenza in the control room.

The next morning, we started with explorations in the field: Team AAWA/Vicenza picked up their tablets – and received a long list of tasks via the XR4DRAMA app. The testers sprawled out, starting in the role of citizens, i.e. using their devices to report incidents and risks. These reports were sent to the control room and underwent visual and textual analysis as well as a thorough check by the consortium.

From left to right: Carlo Mancuso (Smartex), Stamatis Samaras (CERTH), Giovanni Tomei, Michele Ferri, Lisa Napolitano, Manuel Bogoni, Daniele Norbiato (AAWA) and Maria Pacelli (Smartex) in the streets of Vicenza.

For the second part of the field test, team AAWA/Vicenza switched to the role of first responders and activated their sensorized garments. These are smart shirts made out of light, breathable Sensitive® Fabric that are worn with direct contact to the skin.  Sewn-in sensors are able to detect/measure a user’s heart rate and stress levels, and a small device transmits the data to the app, which in turn syncs with XR4DRAMA servers and team members in the control room.

Luckily the weather was very sunny with no sight of a real flood, so everyone was relaxed, and there weren’t any alarming heart rates.

We then took a walk around the center of Vicenza, exploring the city’s rivers, reporting water levels, marking important points of the infrastructure, and shooting a number of photos and videos.

Manuel Bogoni and Lisa Napolitano, AAWA water resources officers, wearing the sensorized garments developed by Smartex.

Towards the end of the day, we documented all feedback and insights by the AAWA professionals and eventually had a second excursion into VR to check the new content that had been added to our immersive model over the course of the morning and afternoon.

And then, XR4DRAMA test run #2 was over already. Verdict: Another interesting and fruitful tech exercise in the field that also showed a striking similarity between AAWA’s and DW’s use cases,  never mind their totally different domains.

The XR4DRAMA Vicenza crew from left to right: Francesco Zaffanella, Giovanni Tomei, Manuel Bogoni (AAWA), Maria Pacelli (Smartex), Lisa Napolitano (AAWA), Carlo Mancuso (Smartex), Sotiris Diplaris, Spyridon Symeonidis (CERTH), Daniele Norbiato (AAWA), Jens Grivolla (UPF), Stamatis Samaras (CERTH), Christos Stentoumis (U2M), Farina Hamann (DW), Tej Khadilkar (Nuro) and Martina Monego (AAWA).