Alpine Safety And Navigation App To Prolong Enjoyment Of Mountains

Posted on 24/10/2012

DOSSy (Digital Outdoor and Safety System) project for elderly is announced Hill walking and skiing are activities that can be enjoyed well into old age but often fear of falling or becoming disorientated persuades the elderly to give up outdoor pursuits. To overcome this issue a new European collaborative project DOSSy (Digital Outdoor and Safety System) is being launched which aims to develop an app for a mobile phone that includes navigation, location and safety features.

DOSSyLogo.jpgDOSSy is coordinated by the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and includes Augmentra, developers of ViewRanger the leading outdoor activities GPS app, Curena, operators of an emergency call and service centre, Bergverlag Rother, one of the leading European publishers of guidebooks that cover all kind of alpine sports, the German Red Cross Herten, the Swiss Alpine Club, and the University of Applied Sciences St. Gallen. It is part of the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme (AALJP), a European Commission activity aimed at enhancing the quality of life of older people and stimulating commerce. The consortium aims to deliver an app that will enhance both the enjoyment and safety of outdoor activities. It will include hiking guides with high quality route information and intelligent navigation aids so that a user can select a walk that is suitable for their level of mobility and follow it confidently with the benefit of GPS.

To enhance safety the app will also include a tracking system, which can be used by others, such as relatives or emergency services to locate the user. Notifications will be triggered manually or using a built-in tracking tool, which activates on reaching pre-defined GPS control points along the tour. The app will also be connected to an emergency call and service centre, which is notified in critical situations and can send out rescue teams using the location information provided. One of the challenges of walking in the mountains is a rapid deterioration in the weather. The app will also constantly check conditions and alert the walker and the emergency call centre.

The strong consortium brings together all the expertise required to develop the app. ViewRanger is already used by outdoor enthusiasts worldwide and by international Search and Rescue teams for navigation and location, and will be the software platform that DOSSy is built upon. Curena is an emergency call and service centre mainly aimed at the needs of elderly people. Bergverlag Rother produces high quality hiking guides that offer detailed information about recommended routes. The Swiss Alpine Club and German Red Cross Herten have unrivalled experience of mountain rescues and the requirements of the emergency services.

Peter Schenkel, DOSSy Project Coordinator, University of St. Gallen, Institute of Information Management said, “DOSSy is an exciting project that brings together a wealth of experience and ground-breaking technology. Outdoor activities contribute significantly to the quality of life. When developed this app will enable the elderly and other vulnerable people to maintain their mobility and independence.”

DOSSy is a 24-month project with a budget of 1.6M Euro; there is European funding of 734.000 Euro and each of the consortium members are funded by the relevant national funding body.

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Members of DOSSy consortia

University of St. Gallen, http://www.iwi.unisg.ch

University of Applied Sciences, St. Gallen University, http://www.fhsg.ch

Curena AG, http://www.curena.ch

Augmentra Ltd, http://www.viewranger.com

Bergverlag Rother GmbH, http://www.rother.de

German Red Cross Herten, http://www.drk-herten.de

Schweizer Alpen Club (SAC), http://www.sac-cas.ch

About The Consortia Members

The University of St. Gallen (HSG) is one of the top-ranked European Business Schools. Research at the University of St. Gallen is centred on more than 30 institutes and research groups. HSG’s strong track record in application-oriented research is underpinned by more than 100 successful spin-offs and by several executive education programmes. The Competence Center Independent Living, a research group within the IWI-HSG, specifically deals with business models to support older persons’ quality of life. http://www.iwi.unisg.ch

The University of Applied Science St. Gallen, Innovation Centre (FHS-IZSG) consistently focuses on providing solutions to future issues of regional and national relevance. The innovation centre at FHS St. Gallen assists companies with regard to the initiation and evaluation of new ideas and innovations, and their realisation as market-ready products. http://www.fhsg.ch

Curena is an emergency call and service centre mainly aiming at the needs of elder people. Serving more than 7'000 customers with Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS; fixed net and mobile) Curena understands the needs of older people in emergency situations as well as the appropriate technology and business processes. Curena is a subsidiary of the Swiss Red Cross (SRC), Zurich. http://www.curena.ch

Augmentra Ltd is the Cambridge, UK, app developer behind leading navigation app “ViewRanger GPS” – and has substantial experience delivering popular and well respected location-based apps across multiple mobile-OS platforms. Their apps are used and trusted by a wide demographic including outdoor enthusiasts, leisure tourists, and professionals including mountain rescue teams. Augmentra works as a licensed partner of national mapping agencies across Europe, and with more than 400 trail guide publishing partners and tourist development organizations. http://www.viewranger.com

Bergverlag Rother GmbH: Founded in 1920, Bergverlag Rother is one of the oldest and one of the leading publishers of alpine literature in Europe with currently over 600 books in print. Today Bergverlag Rother is a subsidiary company of the renowned cartographic publisher Freytag & Berndt of Vienna, Austria. Located in the South of Munich, Germany, Bergverlag Rother is known and valued for its expert mountaineering literature and hiking guides. http://www.rother.de

The DRK (German Red Cross Herten) is involved in rescue coordination, senior residences and social work. The DRK is well-connected with other DRK divisions all over the world and runs one of the largest DRK call centres for mobile and in-house emergency calls. http://www.drk-herten.de

The Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) brings together about 130’000 members interested in the mountains regardless of their age, gender, religion, language or background. Founded in 1863, the SAC has been a dynamic force in developing the Alpine region and climbing. It operates approximately 150 huts all over the mountains in Switzerland. Based on this tradition, the organisation is an advocate of responsible mountain sports and extensive access to mountain areas. http://www.sac-cas.ch

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