Swiss develop watch that alerts emergency services when a wearer needs help

Limmex (2013) © Wearable technology can improve the confidence of elderly people. Limmex (2013) ©

Zurich, Switzerland — A potentially life-saving mobile phone-based emergency watch has been developed by a Swiss-based watchmaker, Limmex. When a wearer needs help it can be used to alert emergency services. The new emergency watch uses a machine-to-machine (M2M) connection provided by Deutsche Telekom, Germany’s incumbent network provider.

Limmex’s emergency watch contains a discreet, built-in loudspeaker and microphone. In an emergency, the wearer simply presses a button. If he or she has triggered a false alarm, they have 15 seconds to cancel the emergency call. Otherwise the watch dials a pre-set telephone number automatically.

If nobody answers this call, it is redirected automatically to the next number on the wearer’s emergency numbers list. Up to 10 numbers can be pre-programmed. For German users, there is also a direct link to the German Red Cross’ emergency switchboard, which is staffed 24/7.

The watch can even be set to trigger a return call within the 30 minutes. If the recipient responds, a voice connection is established. The watch is fitted with a microphone and a miniature loudspeaker. The service is connected by a Deutsche Telekom SIM (subscriber identity module) chip. These cards are smaller and more robust than conventional alternatives and are designed for a longer service life. Limmex manages the cards via an M2M (machine-to-machine) service portal.

Aside from protecting the elderly or infirm, the emergency watch has a wide range of uses. Limmex ensures the safety of people who work in high-risk work environments or are lone workers. Security staff, police officers, employees at 24-hour filling stations, farmers or forestry workers can all benefit from the peace of mind that a Limmex emergency watch brings.

“We see James Bond as a potential customer, since the watch potentially saves lives and tells the time; you can even use it as a phone. That is because it incorporates a cellphone complete with a Deutsche Telekom SIM card.” So says Limmex, the watch’s maker.

Limmex also provides greater security for private individuals such as sportspeople who are out on their own or children who need to contact their parents in an emergency. In addition, the emergency watch is ideal for people suffering from illnesses such as epilepsy or heart problems, who need help fast in an emergency.

Furthermore, the watch can help people to lead independent lives for longer. While home emergency call systems help older people in their own homes, the Limmex watch is available when they are on the move, whether they are power walking in town or hiking in the mountains. Older people can feel that emergency call systems stigmatise them and either don’t carry or use them, so the fact that it is an emergency call system hidden in a watch is another advantage.

The Deutsche Telekom M2M Competence Center – for machine-to-Machine communication – is said to be a strategic priority for Deutsche Telekom in the coming years. According to the OECD, the number of connected devices will rise tenfold from 5 billion today to 50 billion by 2020. Deutsche Telekom has positioned itself as a leading provider of cross-industry M2M solutions and offers its customers in cooperation with competent partners complete solutions from a single source. Deutsche Telekom is present in some 50 countries.

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