Samsung debuts wearable tech for health and safety
Samsung debuts wearable workplace tech for health and safety

Samsung debuts wearable tech for health and safety

Samsung has launched several B2B solutions at Mobile World Congress Americas targeting health and safety to protect people at work and at home.

Samsung has unveiled a range of applications that take advantage of its existing hardware, in partnership with lone worker tech company SoloProtect, senior living specialist Reemo, health and safety wearables firm Ability Wearables and virtual reality (VR) headset maker Virzoom.

Eric McCarty, Samsung’s vice president of B2B mobile product marketing, pointed out the importance of partners using Samsung hardware to develop industry-specific solutions that seek to protect employees in hazardous environments as well as vulnerable consumer groups.

“We’re seeing an incredible uptick in innovation through collaboration with our partners,” he said. “As a result, we are seeing more mobile solutions emerge that are tailored to meet specific business needs – such as senior care facilities or lone worker scenarios.”

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Collaboration breeds innovation

In particular, Samsung and its partners unveiled three solutions that aim to improve the safety of workers and enhance senior care.

The SoloProtect system integrates with Samsung’s Gear S3 smartwatch. It can be used by individuals that work alone and make regular visits to new locations, such as estate agents, utility inspectors or healthcare workers.

For those in high-risk fields, SoloProtect provides monitoring and communication via an Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC). Status checks can be activated by a lone worker to provide their employers with GPS information, and they can initiate a ‘red alert’  to instantly contact the EDC for emergency assistance.

Safety and reliability are priorities for all employers, says SoloProtect CEO John Broady, “but historically, it has been difficult to manage safety for individual employees operating outside the traditional office setting.”

“By equipping workers with a high-quality Samsung smartwatch integrated with SoloProtect, we can help businesses increase the safety of those operating alone in the field, and provide them with the ability to concentrate on their task at hand with greater peace of mind.”

For Ability Wearables, the focus is the threat of fatigue. Many industries rely on employees working long shifts in physically demanding environments. In conjunction with Samsung Gear Fit2 and Gear S3, Ability Wearables track biometric and GPS data for real-time health intelligence. This can empower employers, help them reduce operational risk and keep employee fatigue to a minimum.

Reemo’s solution, meanwhile, relies on the same Samsung hardware, but instead offers around-the-clock health tracking. This can be used to keep patients and seniors connected to their caregivers, with an all-in-one dashboard showing trends and real-time activity.

John Valiton, CEO of Reemo, said: “Samsung’s enablement of the Reemo platform through its wearable devices has made technology truly accessible to seniors by providing mobility, safety, awareness and connectivity to create independence in the aging experience.”

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VR for fitness centers

Samsung also featured its partnership with Virzoom at Mobile World Congress Americas. The VR Fitness platform can be provided to fitness centers keen to fuse VR with traditional workouts. Gym cyclists riding a fitness bike fitted with a Virzoom module can wear Samsung Gear VR for a more immersive workout.

Users move through the virtual world at a speed proportionate to their pedaling, playing games as they go.

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Wearables on the rise

According to a report released last week by research company Berg Insight, the wearables market is currently experiencing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22 percent.

Shipments of connected wearables hit 96.5 million last year, up from 75.1 million devices in 2015. Total sales of smart watches, smart glasses, fitness trackers, safety devices and connected clothing are forecast to reach 262.5 million units in 2021.

In particular, sales of smart watches are expected to pick up considerably as customer awareness rises and products from brands such as Samsung and Apple continue to adopt features found in popular fitness trackers. Berg Insight estimates that 2017 smart watch shipments will reach 35 million units, a 66 percent increase on 2016 shipments.

“Technology advancements, increased consumer awareness and wide availability of devices in different price segments will help the smartwatch category to reach mass market appeal and surpass activity trackers as the largest device category within wearable technology by 2019”, said Adam Palmborg, Berg Insight’s IoT analyst.