Have you seen examples of wearable technology intended for personal safety or emergencies?

3.8k views57 Comments

CEO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed
Amongst all the wearable tech devices that are out there, why isn't there something that protects us? Women in particular would have a use for that. Years ago, I brought an idea I had to Disney, which was a way to track children who wander away from their school playground. There are a lot of issues that people have with their children being snatched, so I wondered why there was nothing you could add to their garment that would allow them to be tracked. 20 years later, we're looking at thread in our clothing that can be electrified. Digital clothing is starting to appear in the market, but none of it is protecting you.

There should be something in my coat that I can touch to let people know I need emergency assistance. That is the kind of technology for good that we should be looking towards. We should be trying to find ways to bring that out into the market that will not scare people. With emergent and exponential technologies in particular — AI coming together with blockchain, wearables and other kinds of technology like 5G capability and even 6G — what direction will those things take? If you were using all of this emerging or exponential technology, how would you throw that into a startup in some way that created value based on a bad situation?
CIO, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
There are some wearable tech products intended for safety. During a women's launch at Reinvent, before the pandemic, they gave us all a ring that could track your whereabouts and let people know that you were in trouble. And that's not the only device like that. It is a space that's being explored and funded, if not widely adopted. But the question is, why doesn't your Fitbit have that capability? One of the issues is that people don’t view that kind of technology as something that protects them; they’re more focused on the potential for it to be misused against them. There's two sides to that story, but many people are already struggling with how much data the world is collecting on us.
1 3 Replies
Head of Security and Compliance in Software, 51 - 200 employees

A while back, there was an incident where a bicyclist was in an accident and their Apple watch recognized that they’d suddenly fallen. The watch dialed 911 or an emergency contact number, which led emergency services to the person’s rescue. So there may be other gadgets, tools or apps that have these capabilities.

CEO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed

Data security and privacy issues are a factor in Canada for sure. We have a digital charter, so our rules and regulations are a little bit stiffer than they are in the US. But there are issues on both sides of that fence.

Exponential technologies can impact us positively, but they can also be detrimental to us. Unless you can wrap your head around the fact that you have AI, blockchain and 5G all coming together to rapidly accelerate our capabilities, you might miss a loophole here and there that would lead to something beneficial for a lot of other people.

CIO, 5,001 - 10,000 employees

It's a hard trade off for people to make, because they have a certain idea of what giving up their privacy means. And some people are giving it away and they don't even realize it.

Director of Technology Strategy in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
There are always constraints around tracking technology. The SPCA in New Zealand was a recent client and they have an enforcement arm to prosecute and seize animals that have been mistreated. They go into the wilderness and to farms, and in some cases they go onto land where people are hostile and have weapons. They're trying to figure out how to track their enforcers to provide them with health, safety and security. But the problem is that most of our technology is centered around a cellphone network, so that wireless network disappears once you get out to certain areas. That's where the constraint is. You have to start building algorithms to estimate how long each call will take. If we estimate that you'll come back into service at about 3:45 p.m., and you haven't come back into service by 4:00 p.m., then we will escalate that. You need to build a lot of context awareness into it as well, which gets quite tricky, but it's a problem that can be solved if someone had the appetite for it.
Director of IT in Software, 10,001+ employees
I have not seen firsthand the use of wearable technology intended for personal safety; however, I have seen the news of a lady who was alerted (by the heart rate app on her Apple iWatch) that her heart rate was too low (it was below 40 BPM for over 10 minutes)…while I cannot recall the actual diagnosis, after extensive testing at the hospital, the end result was that she had a pacemaker installed.
Director of IT in Manufacturing, 10,001+ employees
Yes . Wearable connected thru mobile apps providing alerts to care partners 
Director of IT in Healthcare and Biotech, 201 - 500 employees
Yes, the Apple Watch with fall detection! 
VP of IT in Real Estate, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
We have deployed smart helmets with air sensors for construction workers. They are able to detect *limited* hazard and could use alerts
Director Of Technology in Education, 51 - 200 employees
Have used wearables that notified us if people came within 5-6 feet.  Useful for social distancing but also a bit annoying.  
Director, Information Technology in Services (non-Government), 10,001+ employees
I've read about some personal safety devices such as bracelets, necklaces, and rings that look normal but can notify emergency contacts regarding your location upon activation via Bluetooth connectivity to a mobile device. Some of them can also start audio recording upon activation. Also. if the device accidentally activates, it can be deactivated using a mobile phone.

Although these wearables currently can't prevent attacks from occurring, it appears that they can do a good job at alerting family and friends about compromising situations.

I currently wear an Oura ring (which monitors activity, heart rate, sleep, etc.) and, while it’s not designed to send out emergency alerts, it is linked to my mobile phone, and you could imagine a similar device sending alerts based on health conditions.
Director ERP Management in Travel and Hospitality, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I believe healthcare and medical is number one industry to benefit from wearable technology. We all know fitbits and smartwatches are pretty common and humans are using them to keep track of health data and monitoring at personal level. But I recently learned that you can communicate your health data with your physician electronically using these devices. With 5G availability, healthcare wearable devices are going to be a huge success and breakthrough for remote diagnostics etc.!
1 1 Reply
Assistant Director IT Auditor in Education, 10,001+ employees

Last year a friend had a slight stroke and he told me the doctor put a small device on his chest to monitor his vital signs real time. There are a lot of research being done on this technology.

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