The Guardian – A Wristwatch That Saves Lives

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Most of the time when we think of smart watches, we think of entertainment devices designed to make using our already mobile devices easier. On the other hand, when sensor developing company LifeBeam thinks of a smart watch, they think of a gadget that can save lives in the military, fire department, and emergency services departments. Their watch, known as the Guardian, actually detects harm and damage in order to call in backup or sound an alert. While it sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, it’s real, being tested now, and could be in the hands of our military within the next five years.

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What is the Guardian

The Guardian was designed as a safety  alert for emergency service and military. The watch itself monitors blood flow, temperature, heat flux, skin and ambient temperature, movement, and posture to determine whether the wearer is okay or not, and if not, creates a GPS based signal to alert others of the issue. The Guardian is essentially a medical monitoring watch for being worn in dangerous situations and for sending alerts when something goes wrong. Because LifeBEAM designed the watch to be able to automatically detect issues based on body signals, it could theoretically send an alert before the wearer even realized anything was wrong. This is because it pays attention to the physiological condition of the wearer rather than directly monitoring their physical condition, which would be impossible without a range of other body sensors on the body.

How it Works

A complex series of sensors in the back of the watch (agains the skin) work to capture relevant data for the watch for processing. The built in computer automatically works with algorithms to determine whether or not the wearer is okay, and in case of an issue, sends out a continuous voice signal as well as a GPS signal to alert others that something is wrong. Because the watch works with most communications technologies and C4i applications, it works with other devices as well including mobile phones, safety devices, and scanners.

What’s the Catch?

Unfortunately the Guardian watch is still in the test phase, although LifeBEAM does state that it has so far been very successful. In fact, in the clinical pre-trials, the LifeBEAM Guardian was actually able to detect severe trauma, internal bleeding, and was also able to alert monitors to the death of the wearer. While exact data on the results of the trails is limited, the Guardian does seem like a very interesting bit of technology that could definitely have a promising future.

For now, The Guardian is not yet on the market and probably never will be. When finished, this device will most likely only be available to military, special forces, and emergency services, as these are the people that LifeBEAM designed the Guardian for. In fact, because most of the tech developed by the company is on a military contract, they might have actually been commissioned to develop it.