A team of 16- and 17-year-olds at a yeshiva high school in the outskirts of Jerusalem has set up a startup company to develop a wrist band that aims to help keep beach-goers safe from drowning.
Since the start of swimming season mid-March and as of September 6, paramedics of the Magen David Adom ambulance service have treated 201 people who were pulled out of the water at beaches or pools. Of those, 51 people died, including 13 children. In September, a toddler died a week after she nearly drowned in a pool in northern Israel.
“We want to reduce the number of people who die and get hurt at the beach,” said Moshe Schwartzberg, 16, the CEO and a co-founder of the newly set up Enter+ startup. “The idea is to create a wrist band that will be given out for free at beaches, which swimmers will be able to wear before they go into the water.”
Through a computer, the life guards will then be able to track those who are in the water, getting alerts if someone is swimming out too far or if showing signs of distress, such as labored breathing, that could indicate a person is drowning.
“It will allow lifeguards to understand what is going on, even if they cannot see the person,” he said.
The team thought of the idea while working on an entrepreneurship course at their high school, the Yeshivat Amit Nachshon school in Moshav Naham, near Beit Shemesh, in the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council.
The product is at concept stage still, the founders said in a phone interview as they hurried between classes and homework. They know how the product will be built and what technologies it should make use of, but they are looking for an investor to help bring the idea to fruition.
Meanwhile, they have started work on an additional, more short-term and what they say is a more feasible project: a magnetic ring that, with the aid of a metal plate attached to the back of a cellphone, will help people hold their phones without needing to grip it all the time.
“The hand can remain naturally open, and the ring is a solution for the daily use of the phone,” Schwartzberg said.
The teenage co-founders are already in talks with a patent attorney to patent the ring and eventually, hopefully, they said, the anti-drowning wrist device as well.