Vodafone Develops IoT Enabled Smart Swimwear


If there is one technology that can permeate to every aspect of human life and bring some positive changes, it has to be the internet of things. As the concept of IoT is maturing each passing day, so are the use cases of the technology in our daily lives.

Take for example, Vodafone. The company is now developing ‘bikinis’ for women and ‘shorts’ for men that are connected smartly with the internet by use of various sensors. These summer clothes can tell the user if the UV rays in the Sun is beyond acceptable limit and if the user needs protection from them. Similarly, besides UV alter, the shorts in men are equipped with sensors that can keep track of their kids on the beach.

So, how does it work? The moment the UV rays are beyond the limit, the swim wear alerts the uses through vibration at the waistband. Once alerted, you perfectly know what to do!

Extending the IoT use case in summer clothes for the entire family, Vodafone has developed the kid’s wear that can not only protect them from UVs but also can alert their parents if they go beyond a predefined distance. The sensors built on to the kids’ sun hat is constantly talking to the parents’ smart phone through GPS. If the kids wander beyond a preset distance, it alerts through the parents smartphone.

Not only the human beings, the IoT case study here can track your luggage as well. The embedded tracker deployed in the suitcases or luggage helps the users can track it via their smartphones.

All these things, the swimwear, kid’s hat, luggage etc are using embedded hardware that operates through batteries. These batteries in a single charge can last up to weeks. This low power consuming device is the beauty of NBIoT or narrow band IoT.

“The possibilities for IoT are soon going to be even greater with the introduction of Narrowband Internet of Things (NBIoT) in 2017. NBIoT devices will be ultra low-power (typical battery life will exceed 10 years on a single charge), small, very cheap (typically costing no more than a few dollars each) and will use very little wireless bandwidth,” says Vodafone Group IoT director Eric Brenneis.

These Smart Summer designs underline the potential of NB IoT.  “We’re not about to put these proof-of-concept items into stores, but they do show how simple ideas like this – powered by Vodafone’s world-leading Internet of Things technologies and networks – could one day lead to a new generation of smart, connected products that change people’s daily lives,” adds Brenneis.

Vodafone certainly sees a lot of business in ‘internet of thongs’..err in ‘internet of things.’

Gyana Ranjan Swain

Gyana Swain has been tracking the technology industry for over 15 years. A business journalist turned entrepreneur, he has founded two news portals- TeleAnalysis and M2MCafe.

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