The smart & connected safety shoes that connect, protect and save workers' lives.
Connected Safety Shoes, Smart PPE and Connected Worker
Intellinium proposes smart PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that can protect and save worker's life. We started by transforming traditional safety shoes into connected safety shoes. Eventually, and after feedbacks from our customers and end-users, we designed a a safety pod that can be attached to any (safety) shoes or boots.
Leveraging the best state-of-the-art embedded hardware & software technologies, we have been following a virtualization strategy consisting in replacing "different legacy equipment" (such as man-down or panic button) into "safety features". By doing that, we are making obsolete most of legacy equipment meaning less weight, less hardware waste and less cost.
The following safety features are already available:
- Smart Man-Down with integrated doubt removal. Once the shoes detect that the worker either has fallen or is still for too long, the shoes vibrates to give the user a way to cancel the alert. If the user doesn’t answer the warning, the alert is automatically sent.
- Smart Panic Button with integrated doubt removal. End-User can send a “MAY DAY” (immediate assistance request) to alert his employer or colleagues.
- Mass Alert Emergency notification with worker real-time acknowledge and position.
- Remote equipment status check.
- Battery level alert.
- Bi-Directional communication channel workers/workers and workers/organisation.
As an option (but it requires a specific shoe), a distinctive patented feature is the use of a FSR (Force Sensor Membrane) that acts as a “button” inside and outside the shoe. The shoes holder can “press” this “button” with his big toe or his hand to start a sequence (composed of 2 symbols - “short” or “long” - an alphabet derived from MORSE code but much simpler). Vibrator allows the shoe to communicate with the holder using short and long vibration following the same logic as FSR use.
Getting the perfectly suited smart PPE starting from smart add-on to a safety pod
But this design was strongly limited to integration issues and some mechanical flaws.
In 2018, we started re-thinking a new connected safety shoes design that could :
- Eliminate any modification on existing PPE (the v2 required 4 holes on the shoe leather which was not acceptable)
- Improve the mechanical overall reliability
- Close the casing and propose wireless charging
Eventually we came up with a design inspired by sport product: a (safety) pod that could be clipped to any safety shoes/boots and to other often worn device such as keychain.
To make it short, you can mount your safety pod in a couple of seconds and it is firmly fixed whatever is your activity. Then you have connected safety shoes ready to protect you !
The battery autonomy is about 1 to 2 months and can be charged wirelessly using QI charger.
While some legacy safety shoes manufacturers would like to impose their own technologies for their own brand models to customers, we have designed our solution to attach to almost any safety shoes or boots in the market.
Making connected safety shoes is as simple as attaching an external lateral add-on to the upper part of your new or existing shoes.
This design brings several major benefits compared to other integration strategies :
(1) Attach to any safety shoes/boots. Average safety shoes lifespan is about 12 months. It would be very cost ineffective, as well as an environmental issue, to throw away all the embedded hardware each time you change your shoes. By using our add-on, you can attach or detach your add-on anytime. You can also decide to attach to your shoes and/or your boots.
(2) Improve performance & reduce SAR exposition value. By keeping telecom hardware outside the shoe, we save power and reduce EMF body exposition.
(Option) An internal sensor activated by your toe foot - The "morse code shoe" !
While 80% of our customers find our innovative smart PPE safety pod in line with their constraints & requirements, there are other customers that may opt for an even more advanced version of our product which integrates also technologies inside a dedicated safety shoe.
To handle situations when the end-user cannot use his hand to press the exterbal button, we have also integrated a resistive force sensor (FSR) on top of the safety toe cap that allows the end-use to activate just by lifting his big toe. Our technology has been designed to provide 0% false positive rate.
The main drawback of this option is that it requires safety shoe manufacturers to integrate the technology during the safety shoe manufacturing process. We have been working for more than 3 years to improve and to make this integration easy to enable new manufacturers to provide our internal technology.
The product maturity for this option is not yet in industrial phase but it can be improved and industrialized within 12 months.
The connected worker ecosystem powered by Intellinium technologies
You always wear your shoes and for that reason (and more) we decided that the shoe was the best candidate to embed the connected worker hub.
But we also know that there are some limitations:
(1) It's very inconvenient and complex to display messages on your shoes
(2) It's difficult to get bio-signal from your shoes
(3) Voice-enabled command & speakers are difficult to provide on your shoes
For those reasons, we have been extending our R&D efforts to other devices such as smart watch, t-Shirts and ear buds. The goal is to provide our customers a full integrated smart PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) ecosystem, but still open ecosystem based on standards, that can cover almost all data analytics & decision making related to worker safety, health and security.