The inaugural awards, announced at Mobile World Congress, recognized leading M2M solutions in the areas of energy, security, health care, mobility (auto and transport) and consumer electronics. Ericsson was a title sponsor, along with operator Swisscom.
Overall winner Limmex’s emergency watch uses GSM/GPRS technology to call for help in the event of a crisis. By pushing a button on the watch, the wearer is automatically connected with emergency contacts, who can either provide or send assistance.
Although it ultimately connects to a person, the call is first routed to Limmex’s intelligent cloud-based backend, which goes through a list of contacts. If the first is unavailable, the call is escalated through the contacts one by one before being transferred to a 24-hour emergency center. Settings and firmware can be updated over the air using a module, and the system has flexibility for additional functionality to be added in the future.
Limmex CEO Pascal Koenig says the product presented unique challenges in terms of miniaturization of the antenna, power supply and acoustic components, while striving for both style and performance. Although the acoustics and reception had to work like a mobile phone, the power management could not. "We needed a solution that would keep working for months," he says. "Ease of use is essential, and we couldn’t have a watch that needed charging every couple of days."
Limmex has been working with operator Swisscom, which uses Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform, and Deutsche Telekom. Koenig says standardized platforms will make it easier for Limmex’s and other applications to expand to new markets. "There are a lot of standalone platforms, but I expect companies like Ericsson with excellent market access all over the world to come up with efficient connectivity solutions for different applications," he says.
The win has brought Limmex much-wanted publicity as it looks to expand beyond the markets of Switzerland and Germany, where it is now well established.
Miguel Blockstrand, Head of Product Line Device Connections at Ericsson, says M2M is a great arena for innovation and the Limmex emergency watch is a good example.
For more information, visit the M2M Challenge website.