When WatchOvers founder and CEO Eamonn O’Connor’s elderly uncle fell in his garden, he couldn’t call for help because his personal SOS device only worked indoors. Eamonn realised a better solution was required. The result is a device worn on the wrist like a watch that acts as a personal alarm, GPS tracker and voice-only mobile phone. Initially developed for the elderly, the device also offers peace-of-mind to parents of young children.
A major challenge when launching a new technology product is not knowing for sure how it is going to be used. WatchOvers needed an IoT solution that was robust and could provide 24 hour connectivity, but wasn’t sure how much data and voice communication would be generated by watch-phone users.
“We needed a communications provider that wouldn’t tie us to one particular price plan too early,” says O’Connor. “We went with Three because we found them to be the most open, the most flexible and the most helpful in bringing the product to market. Three’s technical support is also very good, which is essential when you are providing a 24/7 SOS device.”
3IoT is based on Three’s global network infrastructure, and allows devices to connect automatically with any international mobile network. This means the SOS alert feature can be used almost anywhere.
The 3IoT platform is easily scalable, so WatchOvers won’t suffer technical growing pains. The platform also provides full visibility of all WatchOvers devices, allowing individual device management.
“We are able to set an automatic limit on each device’s voice and data usage, so we know we aren’t going to be hit by any unforeseen costs,” says O’Connor. “That’s a great reassurance for a start-up company operating on tight margins.”
WatchOvers fulfils numerous needs in the market and O’Connor is delighted to report that the devices have helped save lives, thanks to the SOS alert feature. WatchOvers is now preparing to launch a new device, PetTrackie. Marketed at animal lovers, the device will alert owners if their animal wanders away from home. It will also allow owners to track where their pets are and where they have been.
“Three has been a great technology partner to work with,” says O’Connor. “They have provided the device management and analytical tools to help us make informed decisions about our product offering in the marketplace. We expect to continue to partner with Three, especially as we continue to grow and increase our scale.”
“It enables us to take on more work without having to take on extra resources, because supervision happens quicker and remotely. You don’t have to go on as many site visits because of the ability to send pictures,” says Stephen. “I would never have thought mobile voice and data would help us so much. It really has developed our business and allowed us to expand so much more.”
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