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Current Methods Of Tactical Surveillance, Like Pole Mounted Cameras, Provide Limited Field Of Vision Which Is Crucial In High Stakes, Close-Quarter Scenarios

Federal Lawmakers Say New York Companies, Including Buffalo’s Bounce Imaging, Are On The Forefront Of New More Sophisticated and Comprehensive Camera Tech

Reps: Soldiers Enter The Most Dangerous Scenarios Every Day, We Must Give Them The Latest Technology To Keep Them Safe

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, and U.S. Congressman Joseph Morelle today sent a joint letter to the Army Secretary Christine Wormuth urging for the development of new advanced situational awareness technology that enables our soldiers to remain safe in close-quarters environments and effectively accomplish their missions. The lawmakers highlighted technology developed by cutting-edge New York companies, like Bounce Imaging, which is based in Buffalo and developed its technology in Rochester, NY as a member of Luminate, the world's largest business accelerator for optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI) startups. The representatives said that these firms are prime to mitigate the dangerous risks inherent in confined spaces and resolve the existing gap in tactical situational awareness.

“From combat zones to search & rescue missions, our soldiers face incredibly dangerous and unpredictable situations, and we must ensure that they have the most up to date, practical technology to keep themselves and their fellow service members safe,” said Senator Schumer. “Innovative New York companies like Buffalo’s Bounce Imaging are on the forefront of developing new technology to solve tactical situational awareness challenges and keep our military service members safe. I strongly urge the Army to prioritize the development of new, advanced tactical surveillance technology, like Bounce Imaging’s tactical stabilized omnidirectional camera, and use all the tools at its disposal to swiftly procure technology to mitigate these risks facing our soldiers.”

“Our brave service members put themselves at risk to keep our country safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “They deserve the best in situational awareness technology to mitigate the dangers of serving in a combat zone. I urge the Army to invest in advanced close-quarters situational awareness technology being developed by industry leaders like Bounce Imaging in Buffalo to help ensure our service members are as safe and as effective as possible.”

Congressman Brian Higgins said, “Military operations are constantly evolving, and technology must evolve with it.  A device developed by Bounce Imaging, based right here in Buffalo provides a unique solution to challenges faced by our servicemembers in a variety of situations. Access to new, state-of-the-art equipment that can help detect, mitigate and navigate dangerous situations will improve operations and save lives.”

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am committed to ensuring our fighting forces have the tools they need to do the job when in close-quarters,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “Luminate’s efforts in supporting companies like Bounce and their development of cutting-edge technology illustrate why Rochester is leading the world in optics and photonics innovation. I’m proud to work with my partners in government on advancing the deployment of this life-saving technology.”

The representatives explained that many current devices for assessing dangerous situations, like pole-mounted cameras, often provide a limited field of vision for those in the field; and more sophisticated systems, like unmanned aerial systems (UAS), are costly and not easily available for all infantry forces. The solution to this impasse is cost efficient technology that provides real-time, fully stabilized and 360-degree imaging. One such solution includes Bounce Imaging’s tactical stabilized omnidirectional camera, which have already been utilized by a range of government agencies and operations, including FEMA search-and-rescue missions.

“Bounce Imaging's advanced 360° throwable cameras have been used by the most elite teams in the Department of Defense, providing key situational awareness to keep them safe in dangerous environments. We deeply appreciate the support of Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Higgins, and Congressman Morelle to ensure technology like this gets into the hands of service members across our military,” said Francisco Aguilar, Founder & CEO, Bounce Imaging.

Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Higgins, and Congressman Morelle’s letter to Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth appears below:

Dear Secretary Wormuth:

We write to urge the Army to prioritize the development of new advanced close-quarters situational awareness technology, especially technology that specializes in confined-space reconnaissance. Our military service members still face a dangerous level of tactical uncertainty in combat zones, and it is imperative that the Army use all the tools at its disposal to swiftly procure technology to mitigate these risks.

As you know, a high level of situational awareness may be required to safely and effectively accomplish the mission at hand. Simple obstacles, such as compound walls, tight corners, low-light areas and confined environments can impose threats that cannot be addressed by the devices currently employed; pole-mounted cameras and mirrors, are extremely limited in their reach and field of view (FOV). More sophisticated approaches, such as military working dogs and unmanned aerial systems (UAS), are costly and often result in an unstable, narrow FOV video feed, making no real contribution to increasing situational awareness. Furthermore, the difficulties inherent in their portability and deployment means they are not available in sufficient quantities to serve our infantry force.

The solution to this is user-friendly technology that provides real-time, fully stabilized, 360-degree imaging. We understand that multiple entities within the Army, including the Maneuver Center of Excellence and US Army Special Operations Command, are currently in the process of exploring these solutions, including those within the Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) space. One such solution includes tactical stabilized omnidirectional cameras, which have been used by a range of federal agencies for a variety of operations—ranging from FEMA search-and-rescue missions and law enforcement agencies to Army special operators. 

We urge you to prioritize the development of tactical stabilized omnidirectional cameras and request an update on the progress of the Army’s efforts to resolve this gap in tactical situational awareness.

We appreciate your attention to this important matter and look forward to your response.