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January 28, 20131 min read

Life-Saving Underwear – A Fire-Fighter’s Intelligent Vest


House fireIt’s not often that underwear makes the national TV news – but a vest that uses Bluetooth® to help save fire-fighter’s lives isn’t your usual news story.

Though it sounds like science fiction, there’s a vest that can monitor the heart rate, breathing rate, activity level and movement, core body temperature, stress levels and posture of anyone that wears it.

Not only that, but it can sound alerts when sudden changes in these measurements occur, give location information via GPS and is lightweight and machine washable!

Imagine what this could mean if becomes ‘standard issue’ for fire fighters and other emergency services personnel!

The Tait BioLink vest is the result of a collaborative project designed to give vital information to incident commanders so they can make critical decisions quickly.

“We’ve been collaborating with a number of government, public safety and commercial organisations to design a solution to improve officer safety, tactical decision making, rescue planning and situational awareness,” explains Tait Design Engineer Tanmay Bhola.

“Firefighter safety is one of our client’s major concerns, especially in the US market,” he says. “According to the US Fire Association, 60% of these deaths occur due to stress and over-exhaustion. That motivated us to focus on the need to design the BioLink solution to work over our Tait radio systems. We worked with our partners Zephyr Technology, who had US Food & Drug Administration-approved sensors available in the perfect form factor, to allow us to design this system to help Public Safety organisations and, ultimately, save lives.”

With beta trial cycles due for completion in mid-2013, the commercial roll-out is hopefully not too far away.

And that’s why the story got featured on New Zealand’s ONENews news programme earlier this month. Click here to see the full report


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