Above: The Edisse Watch prototype, which is designed to detect falls and automatically send an alert to the wearer's family and/or care giver
By Natasha Egan
Developers of a wristwatch-style fall detection prototype that automatically sends an alert to family or care givers are calling on carers to take part in a survey to inform further development of the product.
Edisse CEO Nicholas Tong said they were designing the watch to improve the well-being of the elderly.
“We would like to hear from anyone who is directly or indirectly involved with taking care of the elderly, whether it is children or professional carers,” Mr Tong said.
“We want a bit more validation to what we already have and to get feedback and insights into the market.”
Following three months in the making, Edisse launched its product at University of Sydney Union’s Incubate Demonstration Day last Wednesday with a presentation to investors, industry experts, media and supporters.
The prototype watch includes integrated GPS, an accelerometer, and a SIM card to connect the device to a cellular network.
The technology detects when a person has fallen. The wearer is not required to manually set off an alert such as with regular panic button devices.
Using the GPS and mobile technology means the device does not need to be in range of a base station device.
The team is able to communicate with the watch in real-time via web and smartphone applications it has also developed.
Mr Tong said while this first version wasn’t “pretty”, it did the job.
“We essentially want to make the screen rounder, have the watch smaller and make the colours a little bit more attractive to the eye,” he said.
Incubate, a startup entrepreneur development program which launched in September 2012, provides support in the way of funding, office space, and mentoring.
The program is open to students, researchers and recent Sydney University alumni with an aim to support the would-be entrepreneurs in translating solutions into real world businesses.
Mr Tong said the Edisse team is motivated by an industry and community need for this product.
“This is the watch we would like our grandparents to have,” he said.
Edisse has it sights on the global market for elderly healthcare, Mr Tong said.
“Our watch will provide an affordable way for carers and family members to keep track of their loved ones.
“This product can directly improve the quality of life for elderly people, and will ultimately save lives.”
The team is planning to start testing devices by the end of the financial year.
Edisse has already partnered with local cloud-based internet hosting provider, OrionVM. It is further seeking to develop more key partnerships in the industry and is actively looking for investment opportunities.