Firefighters are awesome, but it doesn't change the fact that the job puts their lives on the line. This Wi-Fi ball, courtesy of Intel, has sensors built-in that, if thrown into a burning building, could keep our bravest out of harm's way.
Intel showed their fireball off at their IDF Day Zero presentations. It's really simple: the ball is outfitted with gas sensors that detects carbon monoxide, ammonia, and chemicals in the smoky air, as well as the air temperature, and sends it back via Wi-Fi to a server on the fire truck. The signal then gets shot back to the site commander's smartphone, and he or she can advise about the safety of the building.
It wouldn't be ideal for occupied buildings, but it'd be great for industrial fires where a lot of chemicals would be exposed to extreme heat. Intel will be testing the little guy out in firehouses in the next few weeks to see how they hold up in actual fires. Maybe they'll become part of the first responders' toolkit. [Laptop Mag]