System designed to alert family if rider falls

  • A new alert system designed to locate horses and riders in the event of an accident is being brought to market by a French technology company.

    The two-piece EquiSure device attaches to the rider, and the horse’s tack, and will send out an alert to a list of emergency contacts if the rider falls.

    Manufacturer IMMInov says there are more than 6,000 riding accidents in Europe each year, and 45% of these take place while unsupervised — with 65% of riders admitting that they often choose to hack in the countryside in order to be alone.

    “Going for a ride in peace leads to a higher risk of being alone in case an incident were to occur. How do you know if the rider is in danger, and where to find them to ensure help arrives as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency?” a spokesman for the company said.

    “With EquiSure the rider and his horse become connected and can be geolocated. [It is a] unique solution that opens up a new door to safer outdoor riding experiences.”

    The “small and discreet” cordless device can work without GPS or GSM reception — requiring only a 2G signal to send an SMS —but it does require a SIM card from the user’s chosen provider.

    To use the EquiSure, the rider registers personal data, including his or her name, horse’s name and emergency contacts, on an application. The “beacon” units are then attached to the rider and the horse.

    If the rider falls off, an SMS is sent to the rider, who can cancel the alert using a button on the device if they are conscious and able to move. If the rider can’t move and doesn’t respond, the horse’s beacon (which contains the SIM) is automatically triggered.

    Text message alerts are then sent to the pre-registered list of emergency contacts containing the GPS location of the rider and the horse. As well as pinpointing the location of the injured rider, the device can also track the horse if it runs loose.

    “The horse carries the GPS system, so it transmits the position at regular intervals — the minimum interval is set at 1min,” the spokesman explained.

    An optional “reassure” mode can also be used, to keep loved ones informed during a ride. It is also possible for the rider to trigger an alert voluntarily using the SOS button on their beacon.

    The system has a minimum of 6hrs battery life in full working mode.

    “In normal use, the rider can go out for more than six hours in ‘ride’ mode using normal battery consumption. However, if an incident occurs, the system switches to ‘alert’ mode, which uses more power as it as it regularly sends the GPS position to the relatives pre-registered,” the spokesman explained.

    “The system has been conceived to be used for outings lasting around four hours. We have added two hours in alert mode to enable the system to transmit the position regularly to locate the horse and rider as soon as possible.”

    IMMInov is launching a Kickstarter campaign on October 10 to help fund the gadget’s launch through pre-sales. The cost of the unit in the UK will be under £300 plus shipping and they will be available from June 2018.

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