News - February 14, 2020
625 SafeTrx Missions Initiated in 2019
Every year more and more people around the world are putting their trust in SafeTrx tracking and alerting technology.
In 2019 SafeTrx was involved in over 600 search and rescue missions in locations across the globe, from Europe to Australia.
SafeTrx - providing reassuring protection when and where it’s needed most.
News - February 05, 2020
SafeTrx App Provides Automated Emergency Tracking With ‘Alert & Track’ Upgrade
Accurate and continuous position information is critical for Search & Rescue responders. SafeTrx is delighted to announce the release of ‘Alert & Track’ on the SafeTrx app, a new feature to continually monitor the casualty’s location from first alert to recovery.
The SafeTrx app activates automatic tracking once an alarm has been raised via an emergency call or an assistance call, even if tracking was not initially activated. The app will send a location update to the SafeTrx server every 5 minutes.
With the ability to continually track a person in distress, the Search and Rescue authorities will have all the vital information necessary to carry out the search phase, therefore reducing the overall response time.
This crucial feature inspired by members of the SafeTrx’s community resolves potential issues with GPS ‘time to first fix’ and the fact that the casualty could be drifting in the scenario where an alert has been activated on the app.
In designing the feature, the SafeTrx team spoke with Tim Fey, a participant in the PE2EL Surf Ski Challenge race in South Africa, who found himself in an emergency situation and was rescued with the aid of the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) SafeTrx app. Tim shared his story with us , he said “Losing my surfski 2 km out to sea was a frightening experience. SafeTrx played a vital role in my rescue. Using SafeTrx meant my rescuers knew my exact position; it took the search out of the rescue. Seeing the rescue boat coming straight towards me was an incredible feeling.”
Speaking on behalf of the NSRI, Operations Manager Brett Ayres commented “Due to wind and current, your position on the water is always changing. Accurate and continuous position information in open waters is considered one of the most important safety facets. ‘Alert & Track’, for us as rescuers, gives us the critical information we need when every minute counts.”
The feature is now rolled out in Australia, South Africa, and Norway with additional countries releasing soon. Nessa Malone, SafeTrx Product Manager, explained “This release brings an important enhancement inspired by the SafeTrx community. Reducing risk and protecting people’s lives is our priority and a responsibility we take extremely seriously. All of our technological innovation is focused on this clear objective; to deliver the most effective, and protective tracking & alerting solutions available.”
News - December 09, 2019
SafeTrx IoT Wearable Sets New Safety Standard with 17km Range
SafeTrx capability as a long-range Search and Rescue device came into its own in recent testing by the Dutch Telecoms company KPN, who have been using the SafeTrx application on the mSafety wearable from Sony to test the range of its Cat-M1 network. The device’s ability to communicate over long distances in harsh conditions could be the difference between life and death for its wearer.
KPN’s tests showed exceptional results with the device continuing to transmit its location to a cell tower from 17km out to sea, long after the standard GSM mobile phone data signal was lost. The range is down to the IoT wearable’s antenna, which measured a signal strength of –140db during the trial. Signalbooster.com describes any signal weaker than -119db as the ‘dead zone’, with Teltonika citing ‘disconnection’ at anything weaker than -100db.
In an article on its website, KPN said it believed that by fine tuning ‘the innovative LTE-M and optimising the settings, an extension to 30, maybe 60, and theoretically 100 kilometres is possible.’
Extended range and signal reliability are central tenets of the improvements in Search & Rescue technology, both of which are dependent on the wearable’s antenna. As the KPN article explains, ‘This group of equipment is of the Cat-M1 type. But the most important thing is that the network also continues to work in places where a normal telephone no longer has a signal. This allows Cat-M1 devices to stay in contact at a much greater distance from the masts, but also in basements and crawl spaces, for example.’
SafeTrx application on the mSafety wearable from Sony is the evolution of the SafeTrx mobile app which was involved in more than 500 missions in the last year. On the wearable alerts can be raised from the device via large user-friendly buttons even with cold and wet fingers. The portable, rugged, water-resistant features of the wearable make it a much more user-friendly version of the mobile app. People who find themselves in very vulnerable situations now have a simple and easy way to call for help.
In alert mode the device will also transmit the user’s health data back to the emergency services. This means the right crew can be dispatched from the outset. It may be a rescue-only operation, or if needed a medical team can also be sent, improving the chances of a positive outcome for the person needing help.
‘We are delighted to see KPN use our wearable to test the strength of their LTE-M signal, and at –140db, the results are truly outstanding, with a current range of 17km, and according to KPN further distances, much further, are potentially possible.’ says John Murphy, CEO of SafeTrx. ‘Being able to accurately pinpoint the location of the person needing help, means that no time is wasted getting the help they need to them. SafeTrx takes the search out of search and rescue, and the extremely positive results from these tests, both in range and accuracy means that together we can save even more lives.’
The SafeTrx Application on the mSafety wearable platform from Sony will go on sale to enterprise customers in early 2020.
Photograph: Anko Stoffels
News - November 18, 2019
Small & Mighty: GNSS On SafeTrx App On The mSafety Wearable From Sony Matches Industry Standard Navigation System
Results from recent tests of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) capabilities of the mSafety wearable from Sony have proven the device’s ability to match the positional accuracy of the standard nautical navigation systems widely used by commercial vessels.
The tests on the wearable were carried out during recent trials with Sociedad de Salvamento y Seguridad Marítima, Spain’s Maritime Safety and Rescue Society, to compare GNSS data recorded by the wearable inside the wheelhouse, against the patrol vessel’s mast-mounted GNSS receiver.
The image of the test track displays the location data received by both the wearable GNSS receiver (red) and the mast-mounted GNSS receiver of the lifeboat (blue). The wearable transmitted data from inside the wheelhouse in parallel with data generated via the mast- mounted GNSS receiver. This data confirms that the wearable has the capability to match the performance of a standard, trusted nautical navigation system used by many commercial vessel operators around the world.
Over the course of the three-hour test off the coast of Barcelona, the patrol-boat’s navigation data was transmitted over VHF to the Spanish AIS system, while data from the wearable was relayed over the local LTE Cat-M1 network to the SafeTrx server.
Salvamento Marítimo CTO, Jorge Martínez, who coordinated this demonstration, commented during the debriefing:
‘For no doubt, this is a disruptive technology for recreational navigation users like boaters, windsurfers, kayakers, or open water swimmers.
Devices like mSafety from Sony in combination with SafeTrx will improve first responders operations adding endurance, high accuracy position and time data, which is quite impressive considering the size and weight of the device, but the great difference here is the biometric data. Including real time heart rate and stress level among other vital information takes responders like Salvamento Marítimo to a next level of competency.
In the near future, our own rescue crews could be using this device as a professional tracking device, in case of an emergency, as a complement of the personal radio beacon.’
SafeTrx CEO John Murphy described the performance of the wearable’s receiver as outstanding.
‘The test emphasised the positional accuracy of the wearable technology to match that of commercially available navigation systems.
It brings this level of tracking accuracy within the grasp of all water users. Whether you are jumping the waves on your kiteboard or rushing to the scene of an accident in a lifeboat, the wearable provides a level of comfort to the user knowing that a GNSS position is being continually and accurately tracked.
With the SafeTrx application on the mSafety wearable from Sony, you’ll never be alone, even when you’re on your own.’
The SafeTrx application on the mSafety wearable from Sony will go on sale in early 2020.