What factors do you consider when deciding between lone worker apps vs. lone worker devices for our team? One thing that drives us all is cost. But if one is not suitable for your organisation or doesn’t have the functionality you need, it’s simply a waste of money and resources.
We have a mix to cater for different teams and industries; PG Smart (our app), and PG Pebble, PG Click and PG X (our devices). Let’s take a look at the features and functionalities of lone worker apps vs. lone worker devices – side by side.
Lone worker devices
With such a wide range of products available in the market, it’s difficult to choose which will work best for your organisation. Our dedicated devices are like a small phone. They have a cellular modem, GPS chip, SIM card and a re-chargeable battery.
They allow the lone worker system to identify workers’ current location, make and receive phone calls and permit some programming to meet organisational needs. Devices are not expensive and they typically operate with the press of a button; simple and effective.
Lone worker apps
A lone worker app operates on a standard smartphone, whether this is an Android based phone or an iPhone.
There are also apps for legacy phones that run on Windows-based smartphones. These apps provide the same functionality as the dedicated devices but allow the user more personal control.
Round 1: Technology
Modern smartphones typically have better technology inside them than the dedicated hardware devices – i.e. a more sophisticated modem providing a stronger signal and often having access to all the cellular technologies including 2G, 3G and 4G as well as wifi assistance to help with GPS accuracy.
Dedicated lone worker devices often have older technology inside which sometimes keeps the cost of the devices down, and the lack of a screen and other capabilities a smartphone has helped to reduce power consumption.
Round 2: Usage
Most people have a smartphone for everyday use and naturally have it with them all the time.
A dedicated device is an addition to the day’s accessories and needs to be charged up.
Round 3: Activation
An emergency situation dictates an immediate response. It can be difficult to activate the smartphone application through any phone locking security.
Lone worker devices are activated by pressing and holding a button for a couple of seconds.
Lone worker apps vs. lone worker devices – which is right for your organisation?
Ease of use: The main reason we see requests for devices over apps is percieved simplicity. Organisation are concerned that it will be difficult to have people use the app. We’ve designed the interface of our app with such simplicity, it can be learned in just a few minutes.
In fact, many of our customers start out with a device, then switch to an app, which they can do at any stage in the contract.
Accessibility: Some workers may not have access to their phones in situations where they might need to raise an alarm. In these instances, a device may be better, but our PG Smart app pairs with a bluetooth trigger device, the PG Click. This means someone can raise an SOS even if their phone is up to 15 meters away.
They can also set a Time at Risk, so if they are longer that expected during a home visit, for example, or a repair job out in the field, an SOS alarm will be raised without them having to do anything.
Coverage: The PG Smart app works even in areas of low signal, as it only takes a small amount of data to send an SOS. However, there are areas which have no coverage whatsoever. In this situation, a lone worker should consider a satellite device, such as our PG X. This communicates with monitoring staff using a satellite that’s in line of sight, rather than data.
Let us help
Our team at Pick Protection are always happy to offer guidance around lone workersolutions, with no obligation.