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Life saving shirt
It has been reported that the National University of Singapore has developed a life saving shirt that can call for help when its wearer falls. The shirt has a small sensor transmitter system attached to the shirt which detects the speed and tilt of the wearer. When a person falls, this triggers the transmitter, which sends information wirelessly to the victim’s home computer or mobile phone, which in turn alerts family or friends with a phone call, message, or email. The alarm will be raised even if the victim is unconscious. Mechanical engineers and geriatricians tested the device on 40 volunteers and all falls were recorded. An estimated one in five people in Singapore will be over 65 years old in the next 25 years, an age when falls can result in serious injuries. The next step is integration of the technology into the clothing through interwoven wires and optical fibres. The university team are working on models which are able to predict and pre-empt falls, “it’s not too far-fetched to design a personal airbag which could protect the wearer once the device senses he is about to topple over”, Professor Francis Tay told the newspaper (from Sydney Morning Herald, October 2004; contributed by Ian Scott).