mSafety partnership delivers results
8 West builds new services on Sony wearables platform
We asked John Murphy, Co-CEO of 8 West what initially drew him to the mSafety platform. “We had just completed a SafeTrx test using a consumer smart watch and were really disappointed with the results,” he recalls. “The battery only lasted about three hours, which was too short for the kind of applications we had in mind.”
The difference with mSafety was immediately obvious to John. “For a start, the wearable’s battery lasts seven days or more, depending on how it’s being used,” he says. “Moreover, with Sony’s platform you don’t just get the device itself; you also get the connectivity solution. There’s built-in connectivity and FOTA (firmware over the air) for straightforward device management and easy software updates.”
Another plus for 8 West is mSafety’s long radio range. “It’s better than LTE and means the solution can work with weaker radio signals,” continues John. “Then, of course, there’s the security aspect. Communication with the cloud-based monitoring system is end-to-end encrypted. No other apps can be downloaded onto the device, which gives it the edge over most of today’s consumer wearables.”
After a period of collaborative development and testing with Sony and potential end users, three new SafeTrx applications built on the mSafety wearables platform are now ready for active service.
First up is SafeTrx ACTIVE, an advance on the company’s original SafeTrx phone app, with its facilities built into the mSafety wearable. “The device is lightweight and water resistant which makes this the perfect tracker for hikers, climbers and water sports enthusiasts,” says John.
Next comes SafeTrx PROTECT, an application designed for solitary workers in hazardous occupations. The mSafety wearable acts as a digital buddy that tracks the user’s location and monitors biometric data, quickly picking up signs if the user is in distress.
Third is SafeTrx CARE for remote patient monitoring. The wearable monitors vital biometric and environmental data and uploads it to a cloud-based system. “Although initially intended for the elderly living at home, SafeTrx CARE has really come into its own during the pandemic,” says John. “Fear of contagion has really boosted the demand for effective, easy-to-use remote monitoring systems.”
Anders Strömberg, Head of the Wearable Platform Division at Sony Network Communications Europe feels very positive about the partnership. “8 West is using the platform to develop customised services for their target segments, which is exactly what we hoped for from the start,” he says.
8 West is in the process of developing a fourth service, SafeTrx ATLAS. This will combine mSafety with a layer of SafeTrx software upon which other companies can easily build their own apps. “It’s ideal for developers who want to employ the mSafety wearable but perhaps lack the coding skills or engineering resources to do it by themselves,” says John.
From Anders’ point of view, this latest development is the cherry on the cake: “Now 8 West is acting as a system integrator, combining our platform with their own software solution. SafeTrx ATLAS has the potential to bring Sony’s mSafety technology to many more companies than we could possibly hope to reach by ourselves, so it’s a fantastic initiative,” he concludes.