VoiceLink – A Stand-Alone, Voice-Activated Personal Alarm


Personal Alarms (PA) that use telecommunications have been around for fifty years. To alert someone that help is needed, the PA user has had to press a button, pull a pin, yank a cord, or initiate some action to get the device to work. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just say the words, “Call for help” or “Call my family”, then speak with someone to get the help needed WITHOUT having to press a button on a lanyard, wrist strap, or wall?

This is exactly what the VoiceLink does.

Other well-known voice-activated devices include Amazon’s Alexa (a.k.a. Echo), Apple’s Siri, and Google Home. Any of these products can be asked to make a phone call, but this alone does not equate with what a dedicated PA does.

Defining What a Personal Alarm Should Do

When a PA is activated, it should:

1) Notify one or more pre-arranged Emergency Contacts (EC) to request help. This could be a family member, friend, neighbour, Triple Zero, or a 24/7 professional monitoring service.

Alexa and Google Home devices do not support calling 000.

VoiceLink will call Emergency Services (000) or professional monitoring by saying, “Emergency” twice.

2) If the first EC is not available, then one or more alternate ECs should be
automatically notified.

Smartwatches (e.g., Apple, Samsung, etc.) and mobile phones with an SOS function are able to call one phone number. . . and that’s it. As of this writing, an app that will allow a smartwatch or phone to make sequential calls to multiple phone numbers automatically does not exist.

While triple zero can be the default SOS number for a smartwatch or phone, there are many occasions where the degree of help wanted does not rise to the level of having to call Emergency Services.

If Emergency Services are unnecessary, VoiceLink can notify up to five people from a secondary group of ECs by saying “Call for help” twice; or a third tier of five more ECs by saying “Call my family” twice. A variety of communication methods can include calls over the cell phone network, WiFi calling over the internet, push notifications, and/or text messages.

ECs with a smartphone that use the VoiceLink app can receive an online call simultaneously with other ECs. The obvious advantage is that one of several ECs would likely be able to speak with the VoiceLink user much sooner (when seconds may be critical) than if calls were answered sequentially. Other advantages of WiFi (online) calling is that if the VoiceLink user is in an area where there is a weak (or no) cell signal, as long as there is an internet connection, the VoiceLink will work. Plus there are no calling costs when an online call is made (except for data) as opposed to when using the cell network. Over-The-Air (OTA) upgrades happen automatically. Data communication is encrypted to prevent hacking and safeguard privacy.

The device is designed to be plugged into a standard electrical outlet within the home. A built-in back-up battery is capable of powering the device for 24+ hours permitting semi-portability for wheelchair users not capable of pressing a button for help, but have the capacity to speak. Connection methods include a SIM card, ethernet / WiFi, and a Type C connection for future peripheral devices.

Voicelink personal alarm voice activated side
VoiceLink Connection Ports

The Assistive Technology Suppliers of Australia have chosen VoiceLink to be among the finalists for Best New Product of 2024.

ATSA Best New Product FINALIST 2024
ATSA Best New Product FINALIST 2024

While its release won’t be until later in 2024, you can get a sneak peek of the product at the Guardian Safety Pendants stand at one of these expos:

Sydney Showgrounds – May 22 & 23
Sydney International Convention & Exhibition Centre – May 24 & 25
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre – May 29 & 30
Coomera Indoor Sport Centre (Gold Coast) – June 7 & 8
Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre – August 16 & 17
Exhibition Pavilion, Melbourne Showgrounds – August 30 & 31
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre – September 6 & 7
Mike Barnett Sports Complex (Rockingham, WA) – October 4
Adelaide Showgrounds – October 11 & 12
Have A Go Day in Burswood Park (Perth) – November 13
Sydney International Convention & Exhibition Centre – November 15 & 16

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