Vodafone develops proof-of-concept smart summer connected swimwear, child’s sun hat and suitcase using IoT
Vodafone has announced it has developed a suite of Internet of Things (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 Vodafone ‘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 concept child’s sun hat contains a UV sensor plus a low-powered Vodafone SIM and tracking device which sends a warning message to the parent’s smartphone if the child wanders beyond a pre-determined distance.
Meanwhile, the suitcase includes embedded tracking technology to enable the owner to geolocate missing luggage via their smartphone.
The 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.
Altogether, 30% of 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 to enhance health and wellbeing and keep families safe. Of the 8,653 people surveyed across Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK: 33% said they wanted wearable technology of the future to analyse air quality; blood pressure monitoring was important to 50% of respondents; 40% 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 bikini, swim shorts, sun hat and suitcase contain embedded hardware with a battery life of around one week. Vodafone stated that by the end of 2017, a new generation of IoT devices will reach the market, which will change IoT again; the hardware within Narrowband IoT devices will be ultra low-power (typical battery life will exceed 10 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 will be able to support more than one million devices simultaneously per square kilometre.
Vodafone Group director of IoT, Erik Brenneis, said: “The Vodafone ‘Smart Summer’ concept illustrates how the IoT has the potential to reshape every aspect of our daily lives. 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.”