BSIA Award Finalist ID Ultra
September 18, 2021 by Chris Allcard
Award Winning Lone Worker Protection …. Hopefully!
When locating lone workers in emergency situations every second counts. Thanks to its pioneering use of Wi-Fi, Reliance Protect’s ID Ultra has been hailed as a game-changer in personal safety.
Now nominated as a finalist in the ‘Best Use of Technology’ category at the British Security Awards, we are keeping our fingers crossed for a good result on 30th June.
Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is a well-established locating technology that continues to evolve and has been incorporated into personal safety devices for many years, helping to protect lone workers who may be at risk. However, as GPS typically needs to have line of sight to a minimum of four satellites, built-up areas can cause problems and when a wearer is indoors it is either inaccurate or doesn’t work at all.
Call and response
Whether it’s a community based NHS nurse, a social worker, an enforcement officer or anyone else that works on their own, when an alarm is raised, the location verification needs to happen quickly. Therefore, when we developed our ID Ultra personal safety device, overcoming the weaknesses of GPS and being able to pinpoint the location of the wearer – whether indoors or outdoors – was a primary objective.
By integrating Wi-Fi location technology alongside GPS functionality, we knew that we could offer the best of both worlds. An industry first, ID Ultra scans and reads Wi-Fi networks and wireless access points, sends information into Google location servers, which then respond with a location. The more Wi-Fi networks and access points ID Ultra can see, the better its location tracking, especially when using a premium service such as Google. Simply put, Wi-Fi location technology delivers accurate indoor and outdoor locations.
Launched in July 2020, ID Ultra has quickly become the best selling device in our personal safety device and smartphone app range. To illustrate its effectiveness, in March 2021 we received 1,900 lone worker alarms into our BS 5979 Category II alarm receiving centre. Wi-Fi technology embedded within the ID Ultra generated locations in 352 of those alarms – that’s 352 incidents where devices relying solely on GPS would not have been able to provide a location.Not only does Wi-Fi give us an accurate location when GPS can’t, ID Ultra does this very quickly – sending a Wi-Fi position within seconds of an alarm activation. By comparison, we have seen some lone worker devices taking upwards of 120 seconds to try to find a GPS location before timing out.
Integrating Wi-Fi technology alongside other features such as an IP67 waterproof rating has proven extremely popular. Pricing has been kept in line with our previous generation ID Badge lone worker device, while battery life has been extended to around 72 hours. ID Ultra also utilises Bluetooth technology to facilitate integration with other devices, such as wearables and medical devices.
Our survey says…
Before starting work on ID Ultra, we spent a considerable amount of time reviewing customer feedback to ascertain what users want and expect from a personal safety device. Alongside improved technical features, ease of use, tactility of the buttons and a premium look and feel also ranked highly.
To find out whether we had met their requirements, we recently carried out a survey of users who had upgraded from ID Badge to ID Ultra. Where 5 is the maximum score and 0 the lowest, the survey scores were 4.28 for improved battery life, 4.28 for improved ease of use, and 4.36 for reliability. One respondent commented, ‘It’s good to know that the signal on the device has been picked up – before it wasn’t clear if it had. The device is easy to use and I like the fact that the battery lasts longer.’
Twice as nice
At Reliance Protect we have been protecting lone workers and safeguarding organisations since 2006, making us one of the most established and trusted solution providers in the UK. With its dual location finding technology, we believe that ID Ultra is a genuine game-changer in the world of lone worker safety.