Korean human safety technology company Safeware Inc. has won the top award at the prestigious Edison Awards 2023 held in Fort Myers, Florida, USA. Safeware received the gold prize in the ‘Personal Technology – Smart Wearable’ category for its Smart Airbag product, which has the potential to save countless lives in various industrial settings where workers often suffer from fall accidents due to human error or mistakes when working at heights.
Safeware’s innovation has gained recognition in this award, following its selection as a ‘Top 3 Startup’ at CES 2020 by IEEE and winning the Innovation Award two years in a row at CES in 2022 and 2023. The Edison Awards were established in the United States in 1987 in honor of the great American inventor Thomas Edison. The awards honor the design and innovation of products and services that improve human life quality. The winners are selected by an expert panel of approximately 3,000 professionals after a rigorous process of more than seven months.
An airbag designed to enhance worker safety
Safeware presented the Smart Airbag ‘C3’ at the Edison Awards 2023, a ground-breaking invention designed for industrial workers who sometimes work in risky situations like high-rise construction sites, bridges, shipbuilding yards, tall buildings, railways, industrial towers, etc. Equipped with a motion recognition technology, the sensor detects falls and the airbag inflates automatically less than 0.2 seconds to protect the worker, utilizing independent actuator technology.
The smart airbag aims to efficiently protect the worker’s vulnerable areas during a fall, thus reducing the severity of the injuries and increasing survival chances. It protects areas such as the neck, cervical spine, waist, and coccyx in the event of a fall. In addition to its life-saving features, the Smart Airbag C3 is also designed with user convenience in mind. The product’s weight and volume have been reduced compared to the previous version, making it easier to wear and move around. The buckle fastening on/off function ensures that the airbag stays securely in place during use, and the summer ventilation mesh application option ensures user comfort even in hot weather conditions.
Furthermore, Safeware’s smart airbag can be connected to a smartphone application through BLE options, enabling quick and effective communication during an accident. Once the application is connected, the C3 sends notifications to designated contacts and control centers, ensuring that emergency services are promptly alerted. The built-in sensor can function for up to 100 hours after just a 3-hour charge, enabling uninterrupted use during extended work periods.
Advancing Technology for Humanity
Safeware’s industrial smart airbag has garnered numerous awards and accolades in recognition of its contributions to workplace safety. The smart airbag won a silver award at the 2022 Good Design (GD) Awards sponsored by the Korea Institute of Design Promotion. Safeware has showcased its design and technological capabilities at Chicago Build 2019 and 2021, and Dubai Expo 2020. The technologies were selected as one of the top three startups by IEEE certification at CES 2020 and went on to win the CES 2022 and 2023 Innovation Awards.
In addition to the industrial smart airbag C3, the company has developed personalized wearable airbags for leisure activities, belts to prevent falls and injuries in the elderly, and airbags to prevent infant suffocation. With these products, Safeware aims to create a comprehensive human safety platform that addresses various safety concerns and needs.
The company’s CEO, Shin Hwan-chul, expressed satisfaction with how Safeware’s products have already made a positive impact by preventing serious injuries in real accident scenes. He said, “It is most gratifying to hear stories of how our products have prevented serious injuries in actual accident scenes. We will continue to innovate for the safety of humanity, which cannot be measured by financial value.”
Since its establishment in 2016, Safeware has been at the forefront of developing innovative safety technologies through collaborations with leading domestic companies, research institutions, and universities. Safeware has its own R&D research institute for self-performance evaluation tests and product development and collaborates with leading domestic academic research institutions, such as KAIST, POSTECH, Seoul National University Hospital, Hyundai Mobis, and Yonsei University.
In addition, it supplies to more than 500 public institutions and companies, including KORAIL, Korea Expressway Corporation, Korea Land & Housing Corporation, military and defense industry companies, Samsung, LG, Hyundai Industrial Development, Daewoo Construction, Hanwha, POSCO E&C, Kolon Global, and Shinsegae I&C.