This SA startup has developed a wearable IoT device for personal safety

14 June 2019


South African startup MyLifeline is striving to provide users with portable panic buttons via a wearable, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled device that alerts contacts and emergency services when there is a situation.

MyLifeline was formed in 2015, but only officially launched its product in June of last year.

“Our main concern initially was to research how we can find improved cellphone independent security for people who work in high risk circumstances to have additional peace of mind in moments of duress, from a hijack to a flat tyre. It took us approximately three years to get the software developed and market ready,” Herman Bester, the startup’s co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO).

What MyLifeline ended up building was a product that utilises mobile connectivity to allow any 24/7 security service providers, such as alarm monitoring companies, VIP security providers and large corporates with in-house security, to monitor wearable IoT GPS devices from their security control rooms.

These panic button devices work independently from a mobile phone or any other device, and can be used wherever a cellular network is available. When a user presses and holds the button on the watch, a signal is sent to the manned control room, which receives the individual’s medical details, estimated GPS location, and emergency contacts. Up to five selected contacts also receive an SMS with the estimated GPS location of the emergency situation.

The emergency operator will phone the device directly to first establish the nature of the emergency, and if emergency services are required they will be dispatched. If there is no answer on the device the operator will start calling the emergency contacts in the order specified.

Source: Disrupt Africa