After what could have been a tragic accident stuck at sea, John Zilles realized that he had a piece of wearable tech on his wrist that could save his life. Zilles was wearing an Apple watch which allowed him to call his family remotely and get help. Without this piece of tech, no one knows what would have happened to the lonely swimmer out in the middle of the ocean, but it would not have been good.
This brought an idea to his head. What if companies could develop some sort of device that allows for a user to call for help in a scenario where they otherwise wouldn’t. This new piece of biometric technology would be worn by the user, and would effectively work in most places that a cellphone wouldn’t work. The idea is that the device tracks the user and lets certain people know their last known location, while also giving the user the ability to communicate back and forth with several people.
This makes search and rescue much easier for those choosing to do dangerous adventure activities. Robert Koester, author of the search and rescue guidebook, Lost Person Behavior stated that there is a similar concern with satellite-linked GPS devices. They believed that the system would interfere with SAR devices and overload the system. Koester stated that ““And they sometimes do. But it also takes an incident where someone fell off a cliff and sets the search beacon—a rescue that might have required a four-day search—to a situation where rescuers just go and get the person,” he says.
“So while there may be an increase in incidents, there will also be a decrease in personnel hours.” The hopes are high that this new biometric device can help those who wear it get the help they need in the time they need it.