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After a successful crowdfunding campaign, this Ant-o wants to save your life in an emergency

Friday, 8 August 2014 | By Andrew Sadauskas

In an emergency, allowing paramedics to quickly identify someone, including their emergency contacts, key medical information or immediate contact information, can literally be a matter of life or death.


Now an Australian startup called AntCorp is set to make the process easier by releasing an NFC-enabled wearable wristband called the Ant-O Energy band, with the company successfully completing a crowdfunding campaign on Pozible.


AntCorp’s director, sales and operations, Omar Awny told StartupSmart there are many situations where people might be able to carry a wristband where carrying a smartphone or ID might not be practical.


“The idea is if you’re out bushwalking, for example, many people don’t carry ID, especially kids,” Awny says.


“The Ant-O will tell you who the person is, give you an emergency phone number to contact, the ability to message a contact and other emergency information,” Awny says.


Upon purchasing the wearable wristband, a user peels off a sticker and taps it on their NFC-enabled smartphone, which takes them to the download site where they can download the app for free.


From the app, users are prompted to set up a “colony” containing the details of their emergency contacts. They are also able to allocate particular wristbands to particular users from within the app.


“There are other bands you can have engraved, but with our band you can update your info at any time. So, for example, if you go away on holiday, you can update your phone number on the fly for the couple of days you’re away,” Awny says.


The devices are compatible with all NFC-enabled Android smartphones and Pebble watches, with a version of the app also available in the iPhone app store.


Awny suggests outdoor sporting groups are set to be a market for the product.


“We’ve been working on it for close to a year. It’s pure silicone, so it won’t trigger any allergic reactions and it’s quite tough. We’ve put them through freezers and washing cycles dozens of times to make sure they won’t break,” he says.


“So a target market is skiers, snowboarders, surfers, kayakers – anyone who does sport without carrying an ID with them.


“Currently we’re selling them directly, but we will be looking at sports organisations as well as retailers. So, for example, we already have a deal with Bicycle NSW where their members can pick up a band at a discounted price, as well as through deal with the Sping Cycle later this year.”


Schools and emergency services are also interested in using the wristbands, according to Awny.


“P&C (Parents and citizens) groups have shown a lot of interest in selling these to raise funds as well,” he says.


“So, for example, at my kids’ school there’s a whole wall plastered with all the kids’ allergy information and how to treat them. All of that information can be stored on this band.


“We’re talking with the Ambulance Service, Fire Brigade and NSW Police to train them up in how to access the information these bands contain.”


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