Vodafone IoT concepts help beach fans guard against UV rays
August 9, 2016
Vodafone has developed a suite of IoT proof-of-concept connected Smart Summer holiday essentials to help protect against UV, keep children safe on the beach and locate lost luggage.
The Smart Summer bikini and men’s swim shorts are equipped with UV sensors that track exposure to sunlight throughout the day. A smartphone app notifies the user when they have had too much exposure to UV light. The swimwear also contains a small vibrating alert built into the waistband and strap.
The child’s sun hat contains a UV sensor plus a low-powered SIM and tracking device that sends a warning message to the parent’s smartphone if the child wanders beyond a pre-determined distance. The suitcase includes embedded tracking technology to help the owner geolocate missing luggage via their smartphone.
The Smart Summer concept designs were developed as a pan-European survey commissioned by Vodafone from YouGov found that nearly half (48%) of respondents forgot to apply sunscreen on holiday with three-quarters (76%) saying they would be more likely to cover up if they had received an automated alert. Three out of ten respondents also said themselves or a travel companion had lost luggage while travelling.
The online YouGov study found a strong level of consumer interest in IoT-enabled wearable technology designed to help enhance health and wellbeing and keep families safe. Of the 8653 people surveyed across Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the UK, a third said they wanted wearable technology of the future to analyse air quality. Blood pressure monitoring was important to half of respondents. Four out of ten felt they would benefit from monitoring of their stress levels and 36% wanted to monitor their hydration.
In the UK survey, others had more unusual expectations of what wearable technology may be able to do in the distant future, with teleport me to different locations (39%), alert me when someone is telling a lie (27%), make me invisible (27%) and change my physical appearance (18%) among the favourite choices from the given list.
The Smart Summer designs use current IoT technologies to demonstrate potential applications for network intelligence in everyday consumer devices. The bikini, swim shorts, sun hat and suitcase contain embedded hardware with a battery life of around one week.
By the end of 2017, Vodafone says a new generation of IoT devices will reach the market, adding even greater momentum to the connected devices revolution. The hardware within narrowband IoT devices will be ultra low-power (typical battery life will exceed ten years on a single charge), small, very cheap (typically costing no more than a few dollars each) and will use very little wireless bandwidth. Recent research found that Vodafone’s global IoT networks would be able to support more than one million devices simultaneously per square kilometre.
Separate research from Vodafone recently indicated that the IoT was already entering the mainstream for many companies. More than three-quarters of 1100 enterprise and public-sector executives surveyed across 17 countries said that taking advantage of IoT technologies would be critical for future success, while more than half of consumer technology companies said they intended to bring new IoT products and services to market within the next two years.
“The Vodafone Smart Summer concept illustrates how the internet of things has the potential to reshape every aspect of our daily lives,” said Erik Brenneis, Vodafone’s director of IoT. “Companies in every industry are already embracing IoT technologies and see these as critical to their future. The launch of new narrowband IoT networks next year will take this remarkable revolution to a whole new level.”