UAE's 'smart' bracelet for children

The Smart Government Programme at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) launched the trial phase for ‘Hemayati’ project, which reflects efforts of the Ministry to support innovation, especially smart technologies and devices that promote creativity in providing smart governmental services.
 
Hemayati Bracelet is considered one of the technologies that offer excellent governmental services, leading to increased customer satisfaction. In this phase the bracelet is targeting families as the MoI recently received 50 smart bracelets that were designed according to specific technical requirements and functions by specialists at the Smart Government Programme at the MoI. The most prominent feature includes a tracking chipset which enables the child wearing the bracelet to call for help with a push of a button.
 
Lt. Colonel Faisal Mohammed Al Shimmari, Executive Director of the MoI’s Smart Government Programme at the Ministry of Interior, is considered the creator of the idea of the project. He said that MoI cooperated with one of the international research centers to develop the bracelet according smart technologies and high-quality specifications. The project was initiated in 2013, and later was developed and linked to ‘Hemayati’ system.
 
He explained that Hemayati Bracelet promotes smart security concepts that aim to protect and nurture children in a creative and innovative manner. Lt. Col. Al Shimmari pointed that the project aims to promote the capabilities of ‘Hemayati’ system. The first and second phases can be classified as a smart application offering comprehensive security and safety, and enhancing services provided to families and children between the ages of 4 and 16; especially with the rise of the number of users up to 30,000 users.
 
Tracking locations
 
He pointed to the importance of the smart Hemayati Bracelet in enabling parents to track the locations of their children using geospatial services. He noted that it includes other services and features such as: monitoring the heartbeat of the children; sensing the surrounding; sensing any attempt to forcibly remove the bracelet; and many other features.
 
He pointed that this technology is a part of the initiatives of the Ministry to provide attention to youth, and promote their safety and security on a large scale. He explained, “Hemayati Bracelet enables the child to call for help during emergencies in one step, as the bracelet sends an alarm to the parent (previously registered in the system as an application user) through the smart chip, to locate the child and respond automatically. The bracelet also enables parents to identify the locations of their children instantly. It is also possible in later phases to cooperate with private security companies to identify the information of the parents through mechanisms that are being currently examined, and will be utilized later in public facilities such as shopping malls.”
 
Al Shimmari pointed that the idea of Hemayati Bracelet came in accordance with the educational policies in the country, which ban the use of mobile phones during classes because every student has the right to receive education in a safe environment free from distraction, and banning any behavior that could increase distractions. This challenge was addressed by the use of the smart bracelet technology, which is safe to be used by children, therefore, eliminating the need to provide the children with phones to communicate with parents, thus reducing the risk of falling into the addiction of modern technology and abusing it by children.
 
He noted, “The Hemayati Bracelet will enhance the customer experience and support the cultural diversity within the UAE’s society which has 205 different nationalities on its soil. All categories of customers were included in the focus groups to identify their needs and include them in the suggested design of Hemayati Bracelet.”
 
“The bracelet will offer features to simplify the use, while providing interfaces in both Arabic and English. The Smart Government team at MoI is keen to provide the Hemayti Bracelet with features that support the ability of individuals with special needs to use its services in the future,” Al Shimmari added.
 
He also stressed that the team has keen interest in the security scope of the Hemayati Bracelet through ensuring the security of information and protecting privacy, by means of conducting regular hacking tests, and user authentication mechanism, linking the registration with the ID card, and using a secure channel for data transfer.
 
The bracelet includes features that reduce battery consumption, support wireless charging and comply with the European safety measures.”
 
How to avail service
 
Al Shimmari called upon parents to avail from the features of the Hemayati package by visiting the website of Etisalat on the internet, and the MoI’s Hemayati app on smartphones through registering in the Hemayati system by entering the ID card number. The user will then receive a message from the system including a code that should be entered for verifying the identity of the phone owner. Following that the registration will be immediately completed through the app. An invitation message can be sent to the wife to add her to the husband’s account by entering her ID card number and her e-mail address. Then she will receive an e-mail that includes a link to accept the conditions of use and complete the registration.
 
In order to enter a new member to the group, the user can enter his/her ID card number then click on ‘Add Location’. To add a location, the user must click on the (+) sign, then enter the name of the location and drag the map to find the name of the location. The user can use ‘Current Location’ to find his/her location on the map; finally he/she needs to click on ‘Add Location’. To add a commitment: the user needs to choose a location, set the time, date and frequency and then click ‘Add’.
 
He clarified that the service benefits the head of the family and the family members, as it allows him/her to constantly track the steps of his/her children, and show their locations, in addition to providing instant communication with the family members throughout the day. This is good especially during the new school year which requires constant follow-up from parents with the schools’ managements to observe their children and encourage their academic excellence from one side and protect them from dangers on the other.
 
Al Shimmari mentioned that those interested can download the Hemayati app on smartphones and tablets by using one of the following links depending on the type of phone:

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