Samsung, IBM partner on 5G-enabled safety platform for enterprise

Multiple police forces are currently piloting the platform, which is already commercially available to Samsung and IBM clients. (Getty Images)

Samsung Electronics and IBM have developed a new platform powered by the IBM public cloud and Samsung devices to track workers’ health vitals for improved safety, leveraging artificial intelligence and 5G.

The joint effort, announced Tuesday at the Samsung Developer Conference, is geared toward government and enterprise customers that want visibility into the well-being of employees who work in remote or high-stress environments, such as first responders or manufacturing plant workers.

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The platform works with Samsung Galaxy watches equipped with biometric sensors and ruggedized Galaxy smartphones including 5G-capable models, which the company said can now be used at scale broadly. The Samsung devices can be customized to withstand intense environments like harsh weather conditions, emergency disasters or mining plants.

Enterprise customers are able to track workers’ safety and wellness stats, including vitals like heart rate and physical activity, on the platform in real time to help identify if they may be in distress and need immediate assistance.

In addition to vital signs, the platform continually tracks and alerts emergency mangers of any changes in key indicator data points that could show if a first responder may be in danger of a heart attack, heat exhaustion or other event that requires help to be dispatched.

Multiple police forces are currently piloting the platform, which the companies said helps reduce operational risk in the field, but it’s already available commercially available to IBM and Samsung clients.

The platform runs as an app and given its highly customizable nature, IBM will work with clients to create a proof-of-concept, according to a company spokesperson.

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“The mobile industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation and opening up new ways of business by bringing innovative technologies like 5G, AI and IoT to enterprises,” said DJ Koh, president and CEO of the IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. “We believe open collaboration is central to unlocking these opportunities and look forward to driving digital transformation for our enterprise clients in the 5G era with IBM and Samsung’s mobile devices and connected services.”

IBM said the technology behind the platform is open to developers to access and build additional capabilities on top of, extending applications to verticals like manufacturing, defense and retail.

The pair are also leveraging the IBM Garage method and Samsung ecosystem to jointly create new 5G and edge computing-enabled solutions across other industries including financial services, energy, and healthcare.

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