Globally, over 30 million individuals suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Alzheimer’s disease. In the U.S. and Canada alone, there are more than 500,000 individuals with ASD (an alarming one in 88 children) and more than 5.5 million seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. On average there are more than two people providing care for every special needs individual, adding approximately 60 million more people affected by these conditions.
Caretakers and family members of people with special needs face a variety of challenges and worries every day, but perhaps there is none greater than the fear of losing track of a child or elderly parent. Wandering away from a safe environment is a common experience for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s as well as people with ASD. According to an online poll by AWAARE, an organization dedicated to preventing wandering incidents and deaths within the special needs community, over 60 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease and over 90 percent of children with ASD will wander. It happens easily. Something catches their interest – water, a park or train tracks – and they leave their caretakers to explore. Or, someone might be startled by sudden noises, commotion or bright lights and bolt to get away, only to find himself disoriented and uncertain where to go. The dangers associated with wandering are serious. However, people with special needs are often cognitively or verbally challenged and it can be difficult to teach them ways to stay safe. Thankfully, innovative wireless Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology is lending a hand and bringing peace of mind to parents and caregivers.
Leveraging a shared experience of caring for a child, parent or friend with ASD and motivated by the lack of existing technologies to serve the special needs community, a team of seasoned business executives founded iLOC Technologies to devise innovative solutions to help keep track of people with special needs. Combining their personal experience with over 2 years of market research, iLOC developed the patent pending TRiLOCTM GPS Locator featuring a totally unique blend of technology, aesthetic design and simplicity. Worn by users as a wristwatch, TRiLOCTM tells the time, and -date and a whole lot more!
It integrates Gemalto’s Cinterion® M2M technology, specifically the ultra-tiny and powerful Cinterion PHS8 M2M module, to enable simultaneous high-speed data and voice communications and provide precise GPS location data. Used with a free smart phone app or the iLOC TrackNow desktop mapping app, TRiLOCTM transmits the wearer’s exact location to the designated caretaker’s cell phone or computer. It also enables hands-free, two-way voice calling plus a fall detection feature and remote listening capabilities to detect when immediate help is required.
The wearer has access to an easy to use SOS button to signal for help when they need it. With Bluetooth™ 4.0, the TRiLOCTM GSP Locator can sync with other wireless devices such as mHealth heart or monitoring devices and send real time status updates to caregivers. BluetoothTM enabled home security systems can send a message when the wearer arrives or leaves home and precise indoor locating can be done using iLOC’s innovative beacon accessory.
An optional accessory carried by caregivers enables proximity detection and electronic tethering sending immediate text messages and audio alarms if an individual strays too far. In addition, an alert can be sent when the device’s lockable strap is tampered with or removed. The Cinterion module’s advanced power management technology extends the device’s battery life for longer operation before recharging is necessary and a waterproof case enables reliability while swimming or bathing.