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Nokia Made A Smart, Fashionable Jacket For First Responders
March 1st, 2018 | 10:59 AM | 320 views
The CHASE LifeTech FR was designed with Kolon, a fashion brand from South Korea.
Nokia has been creating unconventional products for years, like that weird touchscreen made of ice from 2010. And now, at MWC 2018, the company is showing off a new, offbeat project that's in the works: the CHASE (connected health and safety equipment) LifeTech FR (first responders) jacket. This smart garment was designed in collaboration with Kolon, a South Korean fashion brand, and GINA, a software developer from the Czech Republic. While the CHASE LifeTech FR may look like a traditional bright piece you'd see on a cop or firefighter, there are a few things that make it different than your average first-responder jacket.
For starters, there are modular sensors on it, which allow the wearer to access data such as a heart rate, temperature, GPS/location and motion (accelerometer). That's what the jacket we tried out here in Barcelona had, but the benefit of those swappable modules (located around the sleeve and chest) is that you can put sensors in there that fit different needs. A member of the police force could, for example, have a body cam rather than a temperature sensor -- which would be more suitable for firefighters.
In either case, the data captured by the CHASE LifeTech FR jacket is sent back to a base station, where GINA's software management system views it in real-time and can use it to keep track of first responders. That's something that has the potential to save lives, since the jacket's sensors could help locate an emergency worker who may go missing during a 911 call, or know if a first-responder is dangerously fatigued after working too many hours. Nokia says the possibilities with its CHASE LifeTech FR wearable are endless, as it could support all sorts of safety sensors in the future, including carbon monoxide and environmental ones.
Of course, it's hard to ignore the fact that the jacket looks straight out of a Calvin Klein menswear runway show, thanks to its slim fit, black details and those large pockets, fancy zippers, long strings and baggy hood. Oh, neon green is also fashionable, but that's more about safety than anything else -- call it a happy coincidence. Additionally, the CHASE LifeTech FR also comes with conductive fabrics, 3M reflective details which meet first-responder specifications and GORE-TEX materials designed to be comfortable, breathable and waterproof. And since the sensors pop out of the jacket, it can be washed without any issues, and first responders can use that cleaning time to charge their modules via microUSB.
Nokia and Kolon said it was crucial to make the CHASE LifeTech FR feel like a regular coat, rather than a big, heavy firefighter jacket. The credit for actually making that happen goes to Kolon though, who has been fusing tech with fashion for almost a decade, with wearables like the heated track jacket it introduced in 2009. Both companies added that, although this is a proof of concept right now, they have plans to make a consumer version of it in the next 12-18 months. But first, the focus is solely on making the CHASE LifeTech FR jacket a reality for first responders all over the world.
Sorry, hypebeasts, you'll have to wait awhile to get your hands on this one.
courtesy of ENGADGET
by Edgar Alvarez
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