While lifeguards serve a vital purpose, it can sometimes be difficult for them to keep an eye on all the swimmers, all the time. An experimental new device has been designed to help, by sending an alert if its wearer is drowning.
Currently in rather chunky prototype form, the wrist-worn gadget is being developed by a team at Australia’s Macquarie University. It’s called APPTRAKK, and it incorporates sensors that monitor the wearer’s heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, and movement patterns, along with the depth at which it’s currently located and the amount of time that it’s been there.
All of this data is continually processed by an AI-based onboard operating system, which determines if the combined readings indicate that the person may be drowning.
If such proves to be the case, a Wi-Fi transmitter module on the device pops loose and floats to the surface. It then transmits a signal to an app on the lifeguard’s paired smartphone or tablet, which both sounds an alarm and displays the swimmer’s location in the pool. Sending that signal from the main submerged device isn’t likely to work, as radio waves don’t travel well through the water.Read New Atlas
Experimental Wearable Pops Its Top to Send Drowning Alerts