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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Intelligent clothing that lights up to prevent collisions

Proximity-warning jackets

Ongrade and Visijax create proximity-warning jackets that light up near approaching vehicles

ONGRADE have launched the newest addition to their wearable anti-collision technology portfolio. Visijax high-visibility jackets light up to warn the wearer and oncoming vehicles of their proximity to each other.

Visijax ‘smart’ jackets and vests are manufactured by Visijax, part of the Wearable Technologies group of companies developing solutions for the industrial connected worker of the future.

Visijax and Ongrade have collaborated to integrate Ongrade’s SiteZone radio-frequency identification (RFID) proximity warning alarm system across the full range of Visijax PPE jackets and vests, which feature embedded washable electronics to enhance worker safety.

Like SiteZone, the Visijax garments contain a two-way RFID warning device; transmitters contained within both the vehicle and the worker’s high-visibility jacket or vest communicate with each other, providing a full 360° detection zone and the ability to see around corners.

The vehicle’s on-board receiver detects the location of RFID tag-wearing personnel and alerts the driver and worker to each other’s presence to prevent a collision between the two.

However, Visijax goes one step further and adds a visual dimension to the proximity warning system so the wearer is instantly warned and identifiable by vibration, sight, and by sound.

Ongrade director Gary Escott said: ‘Once again, we are pushing the boundary of anti-collision protection by collaborating with Visijax on the new proximity-warning garments. Through practical need and creative technology, we’ve found yet another way to reduce the risk of pedestrian/vehicle collision across several sectors of operation.’

RFID tags, washable LEDs and electronics are inserted into the jacket. When the jacket is detected by an RFID transponder in a site vehicle, the jacket’s LEDs illuminate to make the pedestrian visible and alert them to imminent collision risk with that vehicle. Not only is the person visible to active vehicle operators, but to other pedestrians too.

The potential applications for Visijax are strongest in low-lit environments or night-time conditions where pedestrian visibility is compromised. It is also particularly suitable for use in warehouses and depots where there is no obligatory requirement to wear hard hats, which is where SiteZone’s RFID detection tags would normally be placed.

Also, as part of its ‘smart’ function, the Visijax also has a built in ‘sleep mode’. This means even if it appears to be in ‘off’ mode, it will still work when it detects a vehicle nearby.

The unit contains two batteries: one USB-rechargeable battery (USB cable supplied) with a battery life of 12h or more to power the LEDs; and a separate two-year-life battery to power the RFID system for continued safe operation.

Mark Bernstein, chief executive officer of Wearable Technologies, commented: ‘The flexibility of our wearable technology as ‘personal hubs’ makes this partnership between the Visijax and SiteZone a perfect match for anti-collision safety. This is just the first step in making proximity-warning safety wear smarter and more efficient.’

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