Innovation That Matters

Hiking light | Photo source Pexels

Outdoor hiking light acts as rescue beacon in case of distress

Sport & Fitness

The wearable 360-degree light can be paired with a smartphone to send out an SOS signal if unusual movement is detected.

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With the risks often associated with outdoor pursuits, it is important that people stay safe, and thanks to a variety of innovations, they are increasingly able to do so. The Waterlily Micro Turbine uses wind, water or manual power to charge electronic devices, meaning that walkers are free to explore the wilderness without worrying about running out of phone battery. Similarly, the device known as Beartooth connects to smartphones and means that users can communicate in areas where there is weak or no phone signal. The Slovenian invention of the OliLight aims to keep hikers safe by functioning both as a high-tech torch and as a personal rescue beacon.

The light is unique because it lights up the user’s surroundings in a 360-degree radius, as opposed to the traditional tunnel of light created by regular head torches. The light is dust and water resistant with a durable polycarbonate casing. Users can adjust the brightness of the torch in addition to selecting between adventure and urban mode. By emitting the brightest natural white light, the OliLight provides users with improved spatial awareness and depth perception in addition to enhancing visibility. The torch has an adjustable strap. It can be worn on the head or around the waist, meaning that the wearer retains complete freedom of movement. The device also features a unique distress sensing smart SOS designed to keep outdoor explorers safe. If the device detects any unusual acceleration, deceleration or other sudden movement it alerts the wearer with a 15-second sound alert. During these 15-seconds the user can cancel the SOS protocol in case of a false alarm. If not, the device sends an SOS message with the hiker’s GPS location via their smartphone. Simultaneously the light begins to flash Morse code distress signals in order to increase the probability of being seen by a rescue team. The device is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, offering backers early access to the product before it reaches stores.

It is interesting to see how technology can enhance people’s experiences with nature, encouraging and facilitating outdoor pursuits. Long associated with indoor activities, how else could technological devices make the outdoors a safer and more inviting place?



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