Lone worker specialist, Connexion2, manufacturer of the Identicom lone worker device range has unveiled the next generation of the product. More than 100,000 devices have been shipped since its launch in 2004. Whilst mainly used in the UK, recent years have seen partnerships overseas and supply across continents.
The new Identicom 8 and 9 series devices will be smaller and lighter and with new features. A camera can capture still-images and stream video during a ‘Red Alert’, and two 3G enabled devices offer more coverage options for users, particularly in several export markets where GSM coverage is less developed. The new 9 series Identicom models are scheduled for launch later in 2012.
The new Identicom will offer the option of definable one or two-way audio communication to meet the specific requirements of the lone worker or employer. An assessment of a user’s risk profile will primarily determine which configuration is most appropriate – one-way communication for workers requiring discretion and two-way communication for those facing environmental risk. The main function on Identicom continues to be the ‘Red Alert’ – a live audio call to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) as designated by a lone worker requiring assistance. This new two-way audio means that users can better talk with the ARC. This feature could prove particularly beneficial if the user is incapacitated (a ‘man down’ situation) through a slip, trip or fall.
The device will also have three more multi-function buttons on the front of the device, which are in an unseen position behind the identity card when the device is in use discreetly. These buttons are designed to be of particular assistance in everyday use to aid communication when a lone worker is not at risk, either socially, or due to an activity. The multi-function buttons coupled with the two-way capability let the user call a specified number, trigger a text message (SMS) to a specified contact or activate a GPS location upload. The multi-function buttons are not intended for use as a discreet function of the device.
Other new features include improved GPS performance thanks to the latest SiRF IV chipset, a first for any lone worker device, and a temperature sensing capability to help provide an audit trail of environmental risk indicators. Identicom is the first lone worker device to use SiRF IV and benefit from improved GPS signal acquisition time as well as working well in low signal environments. The temperate sensor will enable employers to monitor the safety of staff operating for periods in high or low temperature environments.
All of the original features of the first Identicom lone worker device remain – including its identity badge product form, its discreet wear and operation and the primary functions. Users are able to continue to leave ‘Amber Alert’ messages outlining their name and location as well as information about the activities they are carrying out and whether there is a perceived risk. Whilst this is not operator handled in real time, should a Red Alert be activated on the device, the ARC will access this in order to form a view of the context of a situation. Thus it is important they are kept up to date at all times.
As before, the third function button on the rear of the product activates a ‘Status Check’ on the Identicom device. This now gives the user a modernised visual feedback before they enter a potentially hazardous situation by incorporating an LCD display showing the GSM signal strength, on/off status, battery life and GPS status. This allows a worker to use the device as a vital part of their dynamic risk assessment. Craig Swallow Managing Director of Connexion2 said: “Connexion2 has always been at the forefront of protecting lone workers from risk. We have listened to customers, channel partners and the Police and designed the next generation of ‘fit for purpose’ lone worker devices to take the company forward in this growth market. We are proud to be innovators, building quality product in the UK and helping make staff feel safer.”