Innovate: Want to change the world … and save a life?
Using your ICT knowledge to build a smart watch, like those worn by the kids in the Spy Kids movies, could help protect people and save lives.
David Ingerson has made a digital wristwatch like that. Unlike those in the movies, it doesn’t shoot laser beams but it certainly does a lot of other cool things. It’s called the Find-Me watch.
Say you were out bushwalking and fell and hurt yourself, and you dropped your mobile phone so you couldn’t call for help. You could press a button on the Find-Me watch and let emergency services know you were in trouble.
Using GPS, the watch tells them where you are, anywhere in the world. And if there is mobile phone coverage where you are, it then becomes an emergency mobile phone. You can talk to emergency services and they can talk to you, and hear everything that’s going on around you like you were on a speaker phone.
All that in a smart-looking watch. And, yes, it does tell the time!
David started working on it to help his dad, who had dementia. So the first Find-me Watch watch was for people with dementia so that their carers could monitor them and know they are safe. Then a company in London asked David to design a version that could be used by security guards who patrol places alone at night, and people like nurses working late who might be worried about walking to their cars in the dark.
Says David: “We’ve also been asked to look at creating one for sailors, that would work anywhere in the world. If someone were suddenly washed overboard or their boat capsized and they couldn’t get to their emergency locator beacon they would have the watch.
“In the future we won’t communicate through mobile phone towers, it will be satellite networks. “The potential of technology is enormous and I wanted to do something that makes a real difference, that’s why I started this. The ability of ICT to save lives is fantastic!”