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EasyTech SafeTrek
A modular wearable system of mountaineering devices

Author: Anurag Sehgal (India)
Supervisors: Heather Martin and Yaniv Steiner

Idea/problem/context Mountaineers currently carry, typically, at least seven electronic devices for communication, navigation, emergency alerts, and so on. These are usually designed independently of each other, and for more general use. So they often duplicate functions and are incompatible, necessitating say the carrying of several batteries, each of a different standard. In terms of bulk and the ability to access and control them in the extreme conditions of mountaineering, their combination is ergonomically far from ideal and potentially life-threatening.

What it is A system comprising modular devices – each offering a function like phoning, photography, position-location, or avalanche-warning – a CPU ‘hub’ linking these functions together, either with or without wires, and a standardized power supply. These elements are ‘wearable’: distributed around the body, mostly in pockets attached to an upper-body harness.

How it works The system is controlled, via a single intuitive interface protocol, by input controls specifically designed for mountaineering conditions, such as the operable thumb of a thermal glove. A head-mounted display is the main output monitor. The hub automatically recognises any new element added and incorporates it into the system.

Value/Potential Compared with the combinations of devices currently carried by mountaineers, this system is lighter, better distributed, and more easily monitored and controlled in extreme conditions. It therefore notably enhances the mountaineering experience and can save life and limb. If safety is indeed improved, insurance premiums fall. The principle of a wearable, extendable system of modular personal devices, linked by a CPU hub and offering a shared and intuitive protocol by which the user interacts with the system, is adaptable to other sporting or functional activities such as skiing, fire-fighting or military defence.

download QuickTime Movie (video by Andrea Pierri) - 1.86 MB

Anurag Sehgal
2005 graduate
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