Introduction: Emergency Button 2.0
Taking the big red "Emergency" button and turning it into a one-button emergency-call phone. That's it, really.
Rethinking the "Emergency Call" buttons that are wired into public facilities for people with disabilities.
Step 1: Problem
Building regulations (almost universally) require compliance with an Accessibility Code of some form, that often requires the installation of an "Emergency Call Bell" or similarly named device in Washrooms and such for persons with disabilities. For instance, as part of the "Sanitary Provisions" for buildings in Singapore, the specification reads like so:
"... The emergency call bell shall be equipped with a waterproof push-button or
pull-chord for activating the bell.
The call annunciation shall, where appropriate, be provided by –
(a) a call bell located outside the accessible toilet; or
(b) a buzzer in the caregiver’s office; or
(c) an emergency call bell located outside the accessible room or a buzzer to the management office.
and so on.
Aside from the "buzzer" and "bell" being fairly archaic, these provisions often go un-supervised since the caregivers / staff are required to be present where the buzzers are placed. Staff is often tasked elsewhere.
Calls often go un-answered when people need assistance.
Step 2: Concept
#rethinkPhone I feel is perfect for this. My proposed concept is really as simple as it sounds.
Big Red Emergency "Call" Button + Phone = Welcome to the 21st century.
The buttons are designed for ease of use and to comply with the Code, most are water-proof and therefore can retain their form factor. With little or no external modification the enclosure can include a standard "feature" mobile phone, pre-programmed to call the caretaker / caretakers when it is pushed.
2-way communication from the button itself allows the caretakers to offer assistance while they make their way from wherever they are in the building.
The built-in battery would provide for an excellent back up in case of power failure. A charger for the phone will need to be embedded.
Provision to power such devices is readily available and would be significantly more cost effective to install than a "buzzer" elsewhere in the building.
I think this could and should be made part of the Accessibility Code for buildings globally.