— Wearable Electronics
iSwimband sends an alert when the kids are in danger of drowning
iSwimband runs on a fixed, non-replaceable battery, which the company claims should last hundreds of hours of use
Even under some form of supervision, young ones can and do drown in swimming pools and lakes. The iSwimband wearable sensor is designed to minimize these dangers by triggering an alarm on a paired iOS device when submerged for a dangerous length of time.
Aquatic Safety Concepts unveiled the iSwimband at CES earlier this year and has now started shipping to cautious parents and carers around the globe. The idea for the device was born out of the tragic death of a 9-year-old boy in Connecticut, which left three local fathers bewildered as to how such events can occur, especially in the presence of lifeguards and supervisors.
In the 8 years since, the team tapped into the knowledge of various experts, technologists, designers and engineers to develop iSwimband, a device that's hoped will prove a useful means of drowning detection and prevention. While it is certainly no substitute for proper supervision and education around water safety, it may just prove helpful in those scenarios where every second can be critical.
Similar to the SealBand (which we've covered previously), iSwimband is worn as either a headband or wristband and uses a built-in sensor to detect when it has been submerged for a user-definable length of time. If this threshold is reached, it sends an alert to a companion iOS app over Bluetooth up to 100 ft (30 m) away (depending on environmental conditions). Up to eight bands can be monitored from the one smart device via the app, each can be assigned names, preferences and different time limits.
The band runs on a fixed, non-replaceable battery, which the company claims should last hundreds of hours of use. The app is designed for iOS 7, though the company does say support for older versions and Android is on the way.
iSwimbands are available for order now via the source link below. Packages are priced at US$99 and include one headband, one wristband, and a sensor that can be placed in a pocket or attached to a pet.
About the Author
Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.
All articles by Nick Lavars
So, why do so many of these devices still come out with only iOS apps? It's not like Android is a niche market any more. Last I checked there were more android devices out there than iPhones and iPads.
Does it start when you open it and never stops or can you start/stop it to conserve the battery? $99 is quite a bit when you can't stop it once started. If you can stop it when not in use that makes sense then the hundreds of hours are very useful.
Classic sales tactic - first make the consumer fearful, then sell them the solution! How many kids will get a kick out of holding the thing under the water to watch their parents panic?
As the iSwimband inventor I wanted to address the comments above.
Rocketride- we have every intention of creating an Android version asap. Our experience with iOS led us down this path first.
fsa0033- iSwimband goes into sleep mode after it detects no motion for 10 minutes. Battery life is estimated to be well over one year with higher than average use.
JPAR- We developed this product because we experienced a needless drowning in our hometown. We learned that drowning is the 2nd leading cause of accidental death of children. Almost 90% occur with supervision present because it is extremely difficult to detect.
iSwimband attempts to prevent these needless tragedies, just as bike helmets, seat belts, smoke detectors, portable defibrillators and other safety products do. Would you rather we market yet another wearable that tells you how many calories you burned or steps you've taken? Isn't it about time that a technology was offered that addressed a leading cause of death of children?
As for kids holding the iSwimband under water to set off a false alarm, maybe they will in the beginning. But then the "fun" of doing so will fade, particularly when the parents reprimand them for doing so.
I've met too many parents who have lost a child to drowning, or whose children now suffer from neurological impairments (as many as 10 people suffer from neurological injuries for every drowning death).
I believe that most would not agree with you that we are merely scaring consumers into buying our product, but offering a much needed solution, finally.
co-Founder, Aquatic Safety Concepts LLC
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