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.


News - October 16, 2019

2019 SafeTrx User Group Meeting

Yesterday the annual SafeTrx User Group (SUG) meeting was hosted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger (DGzRS) in their headquarters in Bremen, Germany.

In attendance were:

Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij – The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution – (KNRM)

Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger - (DGzRS)

Royal National Lifeboat Institution – (RNLI)

Royal Yachting Association – (RYA)

Maritime and Coastguard Agency – (MCA)

Redningsselskapet - Norwegian Sea Rescue Society (RS)

Royal Danish Navy - Søværnet

Danish Maritime Authority - (DMA)

Suomen Meripelastusseura - Finnish Lifeboat Institution (FLBI)

Sjöräddningssällskapet – Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS)

Network Communications Europe, in Sony Group

Pictured attendees; Udo Fox – Executive Director of DGzRS, Antke Reemts, Marten Feddersen, Onno Heyen- DGzRS, Martin Fuhr Bolstad and Tor-Arne Nordbø - RS, Henk Kok and Carlo Hukema- KNRM, Andreas Hallonsten and Jessica Tennhammar – Network Communications Europe in Sony Group, Matt Leat – Maritime and Coast Guard Agency, Nick Fecher and Tony Wafer – RNLI, Stuart Carruthers, Sally Curry and Loretta Spridgeon – RYA, Fredrik Falkman – SSRS, Jaakko Heikkila – FLBI, Sten Emborg – DMA and Thomas Madsen – Royal Danish Navy

The SUG meeting aims to promote cooperation and information exchange between existing SafeTrx users, which include Sea Rescue and Coast Guard organisations from around the world. The SUG members had the opportunity to share their experiences and propose ideas on how to continue the mission of taking the search out of search and rescue.

The meeting focuses on gathering feedback on the current version of SafeTrx and discussing proposed features for the 2020 version of the product, with a lot of exciting innovations being considered. The meeting gives an opportunity for delegates to discuss experiences, lessons learnt and share best practices. During yesterday’s meeting two of our friends from Sony presented the new SafeTrx application on mSafety wearable from Sony, no doubt this was a very engaging discussion and the highlight of the day!

Working together, we aim to continue to evolve SafeTrx.

Foto: Die Seenotretter – DGzRS