Through Project 'Illyiad', Proximity was developed to provide better care to those suffering with dementia.
A large issue with dementia and similar disorders is the 'wandering' of patients, which until now was only alleviated via large, intrusive and mostly expensive GPS units. Myself and the team set about creating a product that was less invasive and more cost effective by utilising the features of cutting edge technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Beacons. With a low production cost, impressive power efficiency and an active community driving the standard, we invested using BLE.
Due to my expertise with Beacons (to start with) the nature of my role was to consult on the feasibility and technical/creative implementation. This moved onto tech lead whilst working with designer Josh Randle and 3rd party software firm Mettle.
Originally built for Android by myself; with iterations and an IOS version (Mettle) added later, 'Proximity' uses open source & proprietary Beacon libraries to alert carers that patients have 'wandered' outside a designated "safe" area. Something I had been experimenting with previously was the reversal of Beacon methodology; rather than static beacons, Proximity became a wearable tech that would emit beacon data packets. With low power consumption and the ability to work in environments where GPS would fail, beacons became an ideal emerging technology to utilise.
The app would be paired with a physical, wearable device called a 'Button', the electronic components (Beacon) were sourced by myself and Andrew Williams (a very talented Product Innovator I had the pleasure of working with) with the form factor designed and manufactured by Mettle.
By intention, a very simple to use app, the user or Carer would register patients within the app by assigning a unique Button to each patient, which could be worn discreetly. When the patient left the safe area (approx 15m) the application would start to notify the user in increasing levels of urgency.
The project required my expertise as consultant, creative technologist and platform specialist to deliver a working MVP to allow full stress testing. Working with the designer to educate on Android design and Google Material principles, this aided the build through collaboration whilst keeping a simplistic user experience for our target audience.
*A Dragons den type project run by TMW Unlimited and parent group Creston, employees were asked to come forward with new startup ideas for funding.