The Dangers of Connecting Hardware Alert Buttons to Safety Apps
As the personal safety alert app market emerges, it appears that many are coming out with gadgets and novelties to provide a point of difference, a lure if you like to land the next sale. And to be honest, if Worksafe Guardian was an app idea born from a company that just developed apps, we too could have been persuaded to integrate gadgets!
At WSG we have created something much deeper, a monitored app that has been derived from 20 years of safety and security monitoring experience, and with the hands-on experience of the hardware devices that have existed in the market before the product we have today.
What We Do Is Serious
What we do is serious stuff and it has to be treated as such, there cannot be any failures or excuses at the time someone uses their app to signal for help. We implemented the welfare timer because the traditional “man down” functions in apps and devices regularly false alarm. This causes users to lose confidence in the product and many people we speak with either no longer use the device or disable the feature, straight away that reduces the functionality and value of the unit by 50%. The welfare timer is a great solution for this problem, but that doesn’t mean we will never have a “man down” function, we are just not satisfied with the technology available, although we are watching the Apple watch fall detection very closely.
Bluetooth For Alerts
Another common comparison is the use of Bluetooth or connected buttons for initiating a discrete alert, there are definitely some potential flaws with using these devices. To date, we have not seen a single device that notifies the user if/when the button has lost communication with the smartphone, i.e. when Bluetooth has disconnected. Some of these devices also fail to provide confirmation that an alert has been initiated at the time of pressing the device, this can leave the user unsure if their emergency responders have been alerted to their situation!
These are pretty major issues and ones we are not prepared to risk with our users. As designers of critical apps, such as WSG, we understand what needs to be delivered to ensure users receive a consistent and reliable service. In some situations you don’t get a second chance with people’s health and safety, especially when it could be life threatening. The use of a discrete button is a great idea and when we find one that ticks all the boxes we will put it through our extensive testing process and integrate with WSG.
WSG Puts Safety First
Whilst our strict approach to WSG app features doesn’t always land us the most customers, what is encouraging is the fact that our potential clients listen to us when they ask about these types of features. We all know the saying “it’s not a problem until it’s a problem” and this is something that we take very seriously at WSG. Our experience, and customers due diligence demonstrates to us that people are looking for a quality product that is reliable and avialble for use 24/7.
Next month will see the release of our latest app updated, it will have a great new look and feel as well as some ground-breaking features we haven’t seen in a personal safety app!