High-profile disappearances of people suffering from dementia have recently hit the headlines.
GPSOS – a company based in Whanganui – has been innovative in creating a technologically advanced, monitored GPS-based pendant.
GPSOS offers the pendant FREE as a personal security alarm with two-way talk that is monitored, for just $1 (plus GST) a day, and they can find someone within 10 metres of their location.
The idea behind the device is to remove the stress about falling, or feeling worried while doing everyday things like going supermarket shopping, walking, running or meeting friends.
Newshub spoke to GPSOS Chief Operating Officer Scott Lee about what to look for when it comes to the latest cutting-edge personal security technology. Here are his top five tips.
1. Be wary of obsolete old-fashioned products
The GPS-based ‘independence alarm’ company advises those wanting the best personal security technology not to settle for obsolete, old-fashioned or inferior products currently being used in the New Zealand market.
Scott says while GPSOS has great respect for medical alarm suppliers, the technology used in their devices only operate around a person’s home and is no match for GPSOS’s 4G products and services. He is also worried people are not aware of the increased freedom they could have.
2. Make sure you’re speaking to another Kiwi
Scott says people often believe other brands of pendant can be tracked extensively or are serviced by New Zealand-based staff.
"I believe people who are paying for personal security alarms do not always realise some of these alarms aren’t actually monitored in New Zealand."
Scott believes it is the only pendant he is aware of, that when pressing the button there is a New Zealander speaking with you through the pendant.
3. Is the technology the most up to date and current?
The GPSOS product is suitable for a range of people from school children right through to older people, from the fit and adventurous to the more vulnerable.
"Wherever there is cellphone or wifi coverage, we can find you within 10 metres of where you are, and we can speak to you through the pendant to ascertain what is happening and what help you need."
"Some companies are using older technology that just doesn’t provide what savvy New Zealanders want in terms of monitoring, protection and care. You might think your pendant can be tracked anywhere, and you might expect that personal security alarm to be instantly connected from wherever you are to those monitoring them – but that’s not true."
"GPSOS offers two-way communication through the pendant, fall detection, two day battery life and simple and quick battery charging. Additionally, geo-fences can be set to alert when vulnerable people such as those suffering dementia or alzheimers go outside of protected safe zones."
"It is also less than half the cost of most providers of the old technology. GPSOS is constantly investing in further technology development that makes better, safer and more cost-effective products to enhance the wellbeing of all New Zealanders," he says.
4. Are you getting all the information?
"For those who want peace of mind it can be hard to know where to get the technology that will help them be more independent and know that help is right there at the push of a button," Scott says.
"GPSOS is helping people with a much better alternative that has more features at an affordable price. It has being developed by New Zealanders for New Zealanders that will make Kiwi’s feel safer."
5. Know what you’re actually paying for
People need the chance to compare what services they are actually paying for.
"If you want the best for yourself or your loved ones, go with a company offering more for less than the other providers – GPSOS," Scott says.