Watch technology increases mine safety

Nov. 11, 2015

Utilizing real-time data and analysis software, the device’s worker tracking feature enables a company to identify where each miner is located in real time from the surface of the mine.

A new watch helps miners identify and respond to potential danger. The product, MineSafe Smartwatch, has been launched by Illumiti in collaboration with the SAP Co-Innovation Lab and Vandrico Solutions Inc.

“Our watch leverages Wi-Fi and sensors in the mine to provide mine workers with greater situational awareness, facilitate communications and accelerate evacuations,” said Lorraine Howell, vice president of R&D for Illumiti.

Utilizing real-time data and analysis software, the device’s worker tracking feature enables a company to identify where each miner is located in real time from the surface of the mine. This allows those on the surface to quickly find any missing persons and to send localized evacuation messages based on location.

Sensors within the mine also can detect and alert works in the area of potentially hazards from gas leaks, smoke or seismic movements. The resulting alarms are audible, visual and vibrating.

Additionally, with a real-time incident feature miners can report injuries or safety incidents to operators at the surface. The company can send safety procedures to workers and record they were followed.

Company representatives also point out the a one-touch distress call feature that can send an urgent notice to the surface.

"The surface system is designed to send immediate alerts to key personnel and emergency responders based on the type of incident being reported – which can enhance response time and reduce risk to other workers,” said Gonzalo Tudela, CEO at Vandrico Solutions Inc.

Vandrico’s Canary platform in the watch creates a mine-specific ‘Internet of Things’ across a Wi-Fi network using data from wearable devices and sensors placed throughout a mine.

The mine safety system can integrate with most mine-specific enterprise systems and existing mine sensors.

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