June 21, 2006 A new wristband device could significantly reduce drownings and near-drownings in swimming pools. The device checks individual swimmers via a small worn wristband, monitoring depth, motion and time. If a bather approaches preset limits the wristband issues a wireless alert via radio and/or ultrasonic transmission. The wristband alarm sounds and the LED lights flash, prompting the swimmer to return to a safer location. If they fail to respond appropriately, the unit issues a full alert to supervisory staff - a feature which reduces 'false-positives', a major problem with many alarm systems. Pool supervisors are highly effective once they recognise that an 'event' is in progress but they are human, and the device gives them and distressed swimmers that vital second chance.
SenTAG is intended for use at pools operated by both the public sector and by private organisations such as hotels, schools and sports clubs, whether formally or informally supervised.
Mike Lyons, chief executive officer of SenTAG, says that the company set out to advance the range of scenarios under which pool safety systems are effective and change the economics of using them: "SenTAG provides individuals with alarmed protection in shallow or deep water, crowded or 'empty' pools, and is even capable of picking up those in distress before they sink to the bottom of the pool or float to the surface. The system is simple to install, requires no complex building work or expensive cable installation and is straightforward to use. We calculate that the costs will work out at between GBP1 to 3 per hour, depending on the size of the pool."