OwnFone releases Footprint lone worker tracking device
Written by: Laurence Doe | Published:

OwnFone, a London-based manufacturer of pre-programmed specialised mobile devices, has just launched its ‘Footprint’ GPS tracking device that enables wearers to be located at all times and to communicate over mobile networks.

Each Footprint unit is pre-configured by OwnFone for immediate use and aims to offer security to lone field workers and reassurance to the families of “independent-living vulnerable people”, which OwnFone determines as those with conditions such as dementia and strokes. The new lightweight, wearable unit features Google map location, speed sensors and fall detectors. It can track the wearer's location and has an SOS button and two-way, hands-free communication through its built-in speaker.

Footprint operates on any UK mobile network and can roam between them in search of the strongest signal. It can also send a text with location information once linked to a smartphone. Footprint can be called silently if an operator believes the user may be in an emergency situation. Footprint is IP66 waterproof rated and also BS8484 lone worker certified.

OwnFone offers free-of-charge access to its web portal, which is held on a secure server to ensure protection of confidential data and a bespoke service to each customer for individual requirements.

"To meet requests for GPS tracking while conscious of budgets, we decided not add to the cost of OwnFone and instead to expand our portfolio with a stand-alone GPS product [Footprint],” said Sarah Watts, sales director at OwnFone.

Footprint has already been rolled out by Bracknell Forest Council and across Essex by Provide CIC, which delivers a broad range of health and social care services, for more than 500 of its lone workers. A number of councils are currently trialling the use of Footprint to support their lone worker initiatives. These include Horsham District Council and Stoke-on-Trent in England and Caerphilly County Borough Council and Vale of Glamorgan in Wales.

"We undertook an extensive trialing programme with various lone working companies who offered both lone working devices and mobile phone apps,” said Mike Fair, health and safety, resilience and security manager for Provide CIC. “Our staff found that the mobile phone device apps were hard to use, some require some knowledge of a smart phone and they also did not meet the British Standard for a lone worker device.”

"We also found that some of the lone working devices on offer were difficult to use and didn't offer the reliability that was needed in an emergency,” added Fair. “OwnFone, however, offered us a device which was easy to use, discreet, efficient, reliable and offered great value for money. The service received so far has been excellent and I am confident it will prove to be a reliable lone worker device for our staff."


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