The agency hopes that, with the help of wearable devices, today's firefighters, police and emergency medical technicians will be able to minimize equipment requirements and concentrate on effective response efforts.
"This forward thinking partnership stems from the need to better protect our first responders by identifying new cutting-edge technologies," said TechNexus CEO Terry Howerton. "We are excited to build upon the successes of last year and continue our partnership with CIT, and DHS S&T."
EMERGE-2016 accepts product designs that incorporate wearable functionality, including physiological sensors, integrated voice and data communications, and health support, such as hydration. Companies can meet with first responders, investors and potential technology partners directly to showcase products.
"The additional benefits to startups are a first-rate education in business development from mentors around the business world, early market validation, test and evaluation opportunities, and a path to introduce their technologies to a variety of markets, including government sector partners," DHS said.
DHS has stepped up its attempts to connect with commercial groups that specialize in wearable products. In July, the government organization held an Industry Day event focused on unmanned aircraft systems, offering a number of hypothetical scenarios that tech companies could offer solutions for, including embedding a panel in the forearm sleeve of a border patrol uniform for agents to control drones.