Friday, December 13, 2019

Product Principally Aimed at Boating Market of Interest to Shipping Industry Lifesaving

New Design Life Jackets Have Geolocation Built In for Crew Overboard
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Plastimo, an international player in the boating industry, and Sigfox, global communications provider, have joined forces to improve safety at sea with connected life jackets, offering total geolocation coverage across all oceans from 2020.

The new products utilise Sigfox’s 0G network, a low-bandwidth wireless network designed to send or receive small messages between Internet of Things (IoT) devices, to improve and broaden the application of digital technologies integrated into Plastimo’s safety equipment, with a specific requirement to quickly and reliably locate seafarers in the ocean. Frédéric Blaudeau, Marketing Director at Plastimo, explained:

"Our challenge is to improve safety at sea, by using the potential of connected solutions, and make our products accessible to as many sailors as possible. By combining the expertise of our two companies, we can offer the industry an integrated, complete and innovative solution."

By partnering with Sigfox, Plastimo will also benefit from the future ELO nanosatellite constellation, deployed and operated by Eutelsat. From 2020, the constellation will aim to support Sigfox's connectivity services, providing global coverage across all seas and oceans. Existing constellations apparently do not offer this geolocation functionality at an affordable price for the boating market, while ELO will soon support the location of a person lost at sea or shipwrecked in a Plastimo life raft or wearing a Plastimo life jacket, for what the two companies say will be at a reasonable price.

The ELO constellation uses the Sigfox protocol that is already available in more than 65 countries. The life jackets produced by Plastimo will be supported by either Sigfox's terrestrial network or its satellite network. Thus, life jackets can be located several tens of kilometres from the coasts of the many countries already covered by the Sigfox terrestrial network, before the ELO constellation is available. The first two nanosatellites will be operational in 2020.

Plastimo claims that its future life jackets equipped with Sigfox satellite connectivity will be locatable across all oceans. The vests will be as just as comfortable and efficient as other Plastimo designs, and the new connectivity will be simple to use and does not require heavy and bulky batteries to maintain power.