At the pool, it is generally mandatory to have a lifeguard to ensure the safety of bathers. But sometimes it can be difficult even for a professional to see what’s going on in the water, especially when the pool is crowded. For help the lifeguard in his taskresearchers have developed a wearable experimental gadget which has the function send an alert when the wearer is drowning.

The experimental gadget, which is being developed by a team of scientists from Macquarie University in Australia, is worn on the wrist. It is called APPLICATION and features sensors that track the wearer’s heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, and types of movements performed. The sensors also measure the depth where the device is and the duration of the immersion.

Credits Macquarie University

According to the researchers, all these data are continuously processed by an on-board system based on Artificial Intelligence. This system determines if the combination of measurements indicates that the person might be drowning.

What happens in the event of an alert

If the system determines that the wearer is actually drowning, a Wi-Fi transmitter on the gadget will detach and float to the surface. This float then goes send a signal to an application installed on the lifeguard’s smartphone or tablet. The latter’s device will then sound an alarm and indicate the location of the swimmer in difficulty.

According to the explanations, the emission of a signal from the submerged portable gadget is unlikely to be very effective. This is because radio waves do not travel very well in water.

Different factors to consider

The APPTRAKK does not work in a standard way with everyone. There are factors to consider such as age, fitness, or heart rate. These factors may indicate that a person is drowning, but the measurements are not the same for everyone. We can thus program manually l’application to adjust the thresholds of these different parameters.

The new gadget can also be used directly by the public. For example, parents can use it to monitor their children bathing in the swimming pool.

At the moment, this is still a fairly bulky experimental gadget. Researchers are working on a way to make it more compact and simplified. This done, the APPTRAKK can be marketed.

SOURCE: New Atlas

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