Operator Announces World’s First Demonstration of Mobile IoT Safety Jacket Using a Licensed Low Power Wide Area Network

September 21, 2016

Yesterday we were given a glimpse of the unique capabilities of the Mobile IoT after Korea Telecom demonstrated its connected ‘safety jacket’ on a commercialised network.

The jacket is designed for use in remote locations, where the wearer may become stranded and cannot request help. It comes equipped with sensors that detect movements of a person in distress, and then transmits them via a small ‘NB-IoT’ module. The jacket is also furnished with LEDs and acoustic sensors to assist rescue.

Historically, one of the great challenges in developing such solutions is their viability in rural or mountainous areas, where network coverage can be unreliable. This problem is overcome by NB-IoT technology, which enables connectivity in hard to reach locations. Additionally, NB-IoT also uses very low amounts of data, which potentially allows batteries to last for many years.

The safety jacket is the result of a collaborative project between KT, Intel, Nokia and sportswear manufacturer Kolon, and follows the ‘IoT Life-Tech Jacket Marine’ which was exhibited in July.

However, yesterday’s showcase demonstrated this new technology on a new low power wide area operator network, meaning widespread commercial availability is now within touching distance. Speaking in July, KT’s Network Division Vice President, Oh Sung-mok, confirmed that export preparations were already underway.

NB-IoT is a part of new family of low power wide area (LPWA) network technologies known as Mobile IoT. Mobile IoT is the latest technology to emerge in the story of the Internet of Things and has sparked vast, sudden interest due to its many potential uses. Everyday items such as clothes, pet collars, bikes and water meters may soon be on the cusp of being fundamentally improved by connectivity afforded by this technology.

And this is only the beginning – new applications for this technology seem to be emerging on a frequent basis. Earlier this month, Shen Zhou, engineer at China Unicom’s Business Support Centre, explained how it could also be used in smart parking to save cost and alleviate transport problems.

With so many of the world’s leading tech giants and mobile network operators committed to the Mobile IoT, it is easy to see why many experts are expecting it to play a transformative role in the next chapter of the IoT. Find out more information about the GSMA’s Mobile IoT Initiative and pre-register with our Mobile IoT Partnership Programme here.

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