The Nerd Side Of Life

JPL Creates POINTER, Which Senses Lost Firefighters Through Walls

When firefighters enter a burning building, there is always a chance that they may get lost. Odds are they are unfamiliar with the layout of the building unless they have been there previously. And if they get lost, it can mean life or death while battling active flames. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) has created a device that can sense them through walls, making sure that no one gets lost.

The device is called POINTER, and it stands for Precision Outdoor and Indoor Navigation and Tracking for Emergency Responders.


POINTER allows to see through walls to locate the firefighters, and unlike GPS, it does not use radio waves, making it more accurate and reliable.

Keep Going!
1 of 1,010

According to, POINTER is “groundbreaking first responder tracking technology that uses magnetoquasistatic fields to three-dimensionally locate responders during emergencies.” This tech can locate lost firemen within centimeters, which can be key to saving their lives. With smoke and debris are making it hard to see, they need to know exactly where to go to recover any firefighters.

POINTER is being tested and should be available for all firefighters in the next coming year. Read more about the new tech and device here.

Sign up to Receive the NERDBOT News!