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Lifeguards Use Drones? | @ThingsExpo #IoT

Lifeguards and emergency responders have started flying drones as another means to quickly assist swimmers in trouble

By Patrick Lazar, VP of Engineering at FreeWave Technologies

Drones have actually been around for quite some time, even though the recent "lift-off" of commercial applications has vaulted the technology further into the spotlight. I've started seeing some incredible uses of the technology and how not only businesses will benefit, but people as well.

For example, lifeguards and emergency responders have started flying drones as another means to quickly assist swimmers in trouble. By dropping a life jacket as soon as possible, distressed swimmers can get assistance quickly while further assistance is reaching the swimmer in the water.

In the same vein, another reason lifeguards are flying drones is to identify and monitor other threats to beachgoers such as sharks. This will lead to drones enabling automatic warning systems when sharks get closer to the swim zones, and warn lifeguards to deploy means to both repel sharks and notify others in the surrounding area.

My Take
Dropping life preservers are the most natural use case that comes into mind. However, once the use cases start being thought through with detection, prevention and lifesaving goals, a more intelligent system will be needed to sense events, deploy drones to assist, audible two-way communication to help victims all the way through to safety, alert authorities to bring needed medical help to the closest recovery location and, of course, warning other population nearby to prevent others falling victim to the same conditions.

In all these cases, visual, audio, sensor info, command and control information must be sent back and forth to the drone, which will require reliable, long range communications. Furthermore, the payloads of these communication devices must be light/small enough to not affect the drones performance.

Videos: Drones at the Beach!

More Stories By Scott Allen

Scott is an executive leader with more than 25 years of experience in product lifecycle management, product marketing, business development, and technology deployment. He offers a unique blend of start-up aggressiveness and established company executive leadership, with expertise in product delivery, demand generation, and global market expansion. As CMO of FreeWave, Scott is responsible for product life cycle/management, GTM execution, demand generation, and brand creation/expansion strategies.

Prior to joining FreeWave, Scott held executive management positions at Fluke Networks (a Danaher Company), Network Associates (McAfee), and several start-ups including Mazu Networks and NEXVU Business Solutions. Scott earned his BA in Computer Information Systems from Weber University.

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