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The evolution of lone worker technology

It’s important that industries move with the times as technology evolves and consumer needs change. Mathew Colley, our Sales and Marketing Manager, says the lone worker industry is doing just that.

My first mobile phone was a Motorola the size of a house brick that I spent most of my teenage Saturday job wages on by texting friends pointless messages and calling my mum to let her know how long I would be at the park.

I then moved on to a seemingly indestructible Nokia that I used mostly to play Snake before a rather snazzy looking slide phone that meant I could pretend to be in The Matrix and then a camera phone that made every image blurred. Fast forward a few years and I’m on my fifth Smartphone which takes better photographs than my actual camera and basically allows me to organise every aspect of my life.

I’m not sure what features they’ll include next but there is one thing that’s certain; the industry has never stayed still for long. It is as good an example of any industry that continues to successfully evolve and adapt with the times as technology develops and lifestyles and demands change.

I’m pleased that the lone working industry is doing just the same.

Lone working is an industry that is continuing its assault on the minds of workers and employers across the country. Not too long ago it was an issue that barely got a mention in the mainstream media and left bosses confused. But fast forward just a few years and it’s now got everyone talking - and acting.

There are millions of lone workers from all walks of life, facing different risks, working in different circumstances with different grasps of technology. It’s important that the lone working solutions available to them meet their individual needs if they are to receive the best protection from harm as they go about their duties.

As time goes on, technology is being written that has provided an ever-evolving landscape for lone working solutions, whether it be the development of devices themselves or intuitive behind-the-scenes software that means lone workers receive the right response to their situation.

And - just as mobile phones have changed in size, weight and capabilities over the years - so too have the range of lone working devices available. The discreet and lightweight bluetooth button is a perfect example of how lone worker protection can be available at literally the touch of a button. It’s a no-frills, hassle-free solution that gets you help when you need it.

Designed to be carried in a pocket or bag, worn on a wristband like a watch or as a pendant round the neck, the button uses smart technology in conjunction with a mobile phone application. One press and the button links to the user’s Smartphone to initiate calls, text messages and an accurate GPS location to up to three contacts. One of its main features is its ability to override the password-coded home screen locking system on iPhones and Windows phones so a user can call for help instantly and discreetly. Imagine being physically threatened and clumsily having to unlock a passcode before starting the process of making a panic call?

Of course, this latest development does not hold all the answers for all lone workers. An industrial worker whose job involves working at height, for example, would not benefit from it. A robust device that automatically detects falls and triggers a panic alarm would be more suitable. Nor would it be a wise choice for an ecologist out in the sticks without a mobile phone signal. An ‘anywhere’ device with an advanced GPS receiver that can pinpoint location without a signal would be the wisest choice.

But it is a great example of how the lone worker protection industry is making the most of advancing technology and continuing to develop products and ranges that can help people, whatever their budget and regardless of how tech savvy they are. Those who work out and about in the community who are already carrying Smartphones would benefit greatly, just as those working in banks or a bookies at risk from aggressive customers would. It would also be a great investment for companies with a high-staff turnover who rely generally on Smartphone-based lone worker protection or those who don’t wish to carry a larger device.

Technology is constantly evolving. It’s a positive sign that the industry is making the most of these advances to create solutions for every lone worker.

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  • Last modified on Monday, 22 May 2017 16:00
Mathew Colley

Mathew Colley is the Sales & Marketing Manager at LONEALERT, leading supplier of lone worker protection solutions and lone worker alarms to protect staff who work remotely, alone or are vulnerable.

Website: www.lonealert.co.uk

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