Founded by Morgan Cohen and Erik Stricker, the Zurich based Startup SmartWatcher is dedicated to making safety available for anyone with an increased risk of accident, medical emergency, or attack/harassment. The startup developed a series of emergency call watches with built-in cellular connectivity to enable people to get in contact with their relatives, friends or a professional emergency call-center in case of an emergency. The advanced geo-location system built into the watches combines A-GPS, WPS and antenna triangulation for providing the location of the watch faster and more accurate than any other mobile emergency device currently available in the (non-military) market, and it also works inside buildings.
The company offers three different services at the moment; two of them connect the watch wearer to their private helpers. One through the SmartWatcher app via push notifications and call back to the watch. With the service, FRIENDS & FAMILY PLUS the watch user calls up all helpers on their phones (mobile and landline) and they can coordinate appropriate help together while keeping in close contact with the person wearing the watch. This service is the first of its kind and represents a real innovation in the Telealarm industry. As a third option, SmartWatcher puts the watch wearer in direct contact with professional call centres fully integrated with SmartWatcher’s Swiss made platform.
“We have received several reports of situations, where our emergency call watches played an important role in saving a human life. This makes us proud as a team and it makes the hard work worthwhile,” says Erik Striker, Co-founder and CEO of SmartWatcher.
Simplicity and non-stigmatising design are keywords for SmartWatcher’s design-team. “The aim is to create watches that can be used by anyone. Whereas other safety devices tend to look like hospital equipment, we want our watches to make feel safe and independent, but also you should feel beautiful and self-confident”, says SmartWatcher Marketing Director Bruna Carvalho.
While the watches appeal to people of every age, SmartWatcher has developed special features that make it usable also for elderly people who live alone and for people with dementia. Stricker says, “We have customers that are more than 100 years old. If they are unable to press the button, the helpers can locate and call the watch wearer, anytime. Moreover, you do not need a smartphone to use our watches. Simplicity is a key element for us.”
SmartWatcher is working with partners including Medicall and recently, the company launched a pilot project in Zurich in cooperation with the Swiss Post, where customers can request a postman/woman to come to their house and show how the SmartWatcher watch works. If the customer decides to buy the watch, the postman/woman will help set the watch up and test it to ensure that everything works perfectly. The goal is to provide customers with more comfort and local support in their daily lives.
During the course of the year, SmartWatcher also closed a financing round through Swiss private equity. The startup is preparing for another investment round to raise funds for further product development, and to speed up international expansion. The startup aims to launch and build a similar business presence in 3-5 more countries within the next year.