Intel’s Fireball Sensor Goes Where First Responders Can’t, Reports Back to Your Phone

Today, at Intel’s IDF Day Zero presentations, the company showed off a number technologies designed to help communities respond to disasters large and small. Perhaps the most interesting of these is a balll shaped sensor device designed for firemen that Intel simply calls the Fireball. 

Though it looks like Princess Leia’s themal detonator, the hand sized orb is designed to save lives by detecting hazardous gases in burning buildings. First responders can throw the device into a building like a factory that has a strong likelihood of releasing dangerous chemicals into the air. Once the Fireball is inside, its gas sensors test the air for carbon dioxide, ammonia, nitrogen, and other toxic gases then relay a Wi-Fi signal back to a small Atom-powered server in the fire truck. The server relays a signal to the responders’ smartphones where an app shows them a report of conditions inside the building, which they can use to decide whether or not to go in.

In addition to the Fireball, Intel is testing the technology in a number of othr which then sends them to an app on the responders’ smart phones. The fire team can then decide whether its safe to enter the  devices, including a toxic fumes sensor designed to detect terrorist attacks at airports and other sensitive locations. The company doesn’t plan to mass produce its devices and sell them under the Intel brand, but instead to share these reference designs with partners who will productize them. 

Check out the video below, where Intel’s Terry O’Shea shows how the Fireball works.

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch on
Facebook Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options