Wearable Tech Driven by Czech Software Desgin

28 February 2018
Text by Kevin Loo

Nokia recently unveiled a striking jacket for rescue and emergency operators. It’s a taste of the futuristic possibilities offered by innovative design and international cooperation, combining expertise from Finland, South Korea and a small tech company based in Brno, Czech Republic.

The jacket was revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month as part of Nokia’s exhibition. It was designed with emergency response crews’ needs and safety. Key features include live measurements of the wearer’s physiological data - including heart rate, oxygen levels, physical GPS locations, and even fall detection. In case of risk and unexpected dangers, an SOS button and built-in LED display are also included. This allows operation commanders to track their crew's clinical status from a distance, report incidents, workflows, and even split and verify the completed tasks on an interactive map.

Conceptualised by South Korean industrial design and materials engineering company Kolon, the smart jacket uses Nokia technology combined with Czech software from Brno-based group Gina. Gina’s mission statement is simple: “[to] enable users to navigate through difficult terrain, coordinate teams and exchange information effectively.”

The team of less than 40 members has had a short but successful history in geolocalisation software applications - from local firefighting teams to large-scale efforts in Haiti and Japan, and the UN. Their strength in this international collaboration is not only in tracking and intervention systems but also experience in data and device management.

The final result is a well-balanced utilitarian yet visually appealing piece of wearable tech (as noted by tastemakers Highsnobiety, it’s surprisingly on point). However, this is only the beginning. The jacket is also a modular design with possibilities of future upgrades and extensions, including security, police and coast guard work.

Overall, this Kolon smart jacket is a perfect example of complementary skills coming together to create a unique tool. The combination of design and technological experience between large-scale corporations and small start-ups is exciting and an example of design bringing minds together to solve complex problems.