Solace is a full circle system for post-disaster situations that helps both professional first responders and victims during the reconnaissance process.


This project was sponsored by Dell Computers who were searching for the future of working professionals. Our team decided Dell could be aiding professionals on a much larger scale by helping save lives.


Kei Yumino
Patrick McCrory
Lawrence Chang
Shirley Rodriguez


Reconnaissance, or recon, is a rapid walk-about of an area to gather intel of a situation in order to make efficient plans and actions as quickly as possible after a disaster.

The goal of recon is to identify and report a variety of assets such as victims, fatalities, potential hazards and more. Recon is the first step in the rescue process, no action can be taken before reconnaissance is completed.

First responders cannot move out until reconnaissance is finished and the information is reviewed.

The Challenge

We visited and spoke to many first risponders including local firefighters, FEMA rescue professionals and police men. They were able to give us more insight into the process of recon and what happens after a disaster hits.

Captain Samantha
FEMA Task Force 1
Station 88

“During Recon we cannot stop. We have to finish it before starting any kind of rescuing, even if you find a wounded person.”

Captain Robert
FEMA Task Force 1
Station 88

"When people are screaming bloody murder it is hard to leave and finish the task. We were taught to rescue, not leave behind.”

Sheriff Steve
US&R Captain
OC Police Force

“Time is a big factor. You need to get in, get out so that we can know what we have to do to get it done.”

Firefighter Matt
S&R Specialist
Station 32

“Sometimes we wait for a few hours until recon members return with information. Then the info must be analyzed.”

How do we relieve the guilt professionals have when leaving victims behind?

How can we reduce the wait time during Recon?

The Solution

Solace helps first responders collect information, comfort victims and report back intel in a quick and efficient manner allowing them to save more lives.

Pain Points
Network Connection

Networks are not reliable in the post disaster period. Information cannot be sent or received when normal lines are down.

Information Channels

There are many redundancies in the system. It causes confusion and analyzing the data more time consuming.

Emotional Conflict

The guilt of leaving someone behind or agony of being left behind causes much distress both to victim and responder.

Waiting Time

Lack of network forces team members to wait for hours. People could be in trouble while recon is taking place.

Resilient Network

Mesh network offers a way to quickly establish a method of communication without traditional systems.

Synthesis of Data

Help chiefs and field agents to gather, organize and understand information quickly.

Stress Relief for All

Provides assurance that victim will be taken care of. Gives victims a feeling of helping.

Real Time Action

Transmit data fast to allow quick analyzation in real time to take action as quickly as possible.

How it works

All devices in the Solace system are contributing to the intra mesh network to transfer data from device to device allowing for fast real-time data communication.

The more network nodes, the stronger and faster the network becomes.

The GPS Device

The GPS device aims to streamline the process of recording and gathering information.


When the GPS is closed its main purpose is to allow the first responder to input data as fast as possible through visual icons. They can mark locations and record their voice which will then get translated to the captain.


When the GPS is open it becomes a high quality camera which can save images of importance. The first responder can then use their finger and voice to annotate directly on the image.

See the GPS interface here.

The Command Center

The Command Center is a mobile short throw projector interface that allows the captain to set up in strategic locations anywhere. It then visualizes incoming data to help him make decisions.

Command Center

The command center short throw projector gives the captain freedom to work anywhere he is needed and affords team work by creating a large interface in which to view and interact with data. The system is able to prioratize data which first responders have input into their GPS device by color, size and motion allowing the captain to quickly see what is happening in the field and make decisions.

See the Command Center interface here.

The Node/ Comforting Device

The Nodes are distributed by first responders to victims when they are found. They are also left in strategic locations to strengthen the network.

For the Victims

The comforting device monitors victims vitals and gives off a glow with their heartbeat to give them psychological comfort in their time of need. It also keeps track of time and how long they have been waiting.

For Reconnaissance

The node is part of the mesh network and is able to transfer information to other devices. It also helps C.E.R.T. members find and identify the correct victim.

The C.E.R.T. Add-On

The C.E.R.T. add-on aims to place trained volunteers in a more integral part of the search and rescue process by allowing them to give support to victims left behind.

It is a small attachable device connected to cellphones through the earphone jack. It is able to guide the volunteer to the victim because it is connected to the mesh network. It also gives basic tips on first aid o refresh their memory during the crisis.

See the C.E.R.T. Add-On interface here.

The Solace System