Watch: UAE minister puts out 'kitchen fire' in augmented reality

Dubai Municipality is now using AR, wearable tech and the metaverse to train their officers before sending them out into the field

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Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Wed 2 Nov 2022, 2:43 PM

Last updated: Wed 2 Nov 2022, 3:59 PM

Minister Mariam Al Muhairi extinguished a kitchen fire in augmented reality (AR) on the first day of Dubai’s food safety conference. Here is the video:

From training staff using AR to the dashboard that got UAE through the Covid-19 pandemic, technology and artificial intelligence is at the heart of the Dubai International Food Safety Conference (DIFSC). “The latest technological innovation and best practices in implementing food policies are vital to achieving regional and global food security,” said Dawood Abdul Rahman Al-Hajiri, Director General of Dubai Municipality (DM).


DM is now using AR, wearable tech and the metaverse to train their officers before sending them out into the field. Apart from teaching them how to extinguish a fire, the AR program also teaches them how to use a thermometer to check if meat is cooked properly and how to properly handle food during preparation.

Hosted under the theme ‘future directions in food safety and security,’ the three-day conference will discuss strategies aimed at maintaining high food safety and security standards, including the significance of deploying innovative technologies to strengthen the supply chain.


The Dubai dashboard

The same dashboard powered by data science and artificial intelligence that played a central role in pulling Dubai through the pandemic was also used to track food security during the time. This was revealed by Dubai Municipality’s Aysha Ibrahim AlAwadhi.

The Dubai Food Security Dashboard provided live updates on five important indicators for food security – the supply index, stock availability, domestic production, consumption, and the price index for all vital F&B commodities in Dubai. The dashboard also helped monitor import and export companies to determine whether they should increase their inventory or not.

According to AlAwadhi, the lessons learnt during the pandemic will be crucial in the way forward to make all entities data driven and for government and private entities to work together.

Metaverse

The metaverse is another tool the DM has been using for its food safety campaigns. Inspector have been given education about food safety hazards, temperature control and food handling among other things.

The civic body is also exploring the idea of conducting remote inspections of kitchen using the technology but is still working on many challenges including the delay in information sharing and insufficient data support for forecasting possible scenarios.

“We are seeing a new generation who is used to new technology,” said a DM spokesperson. “They will be taking up jobs in the next five or six years. When they come in, we want to be able to give them the innovative technologies to make sure they learn effectively.”

Green Channel

A new green channel for food imports that will potentially give fresher and cheaper produce to consumers will be completely data driven.

“Using our technology, we will be able to crunch the numbers on the history of compliance and the quality of their imports,” said Sultan Al Taher, Director of Food Safety Department at Dubai Municipality. “If we have done enough testing on their previous products and they have been safe, we will allow it to go into the market faster.”

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