News & Events


Nick Clegg sees new "Made in Sheffield" products

Thursday, 07 August 2008

Nick Clegg met the team that has been developing two assisted care products: Guardian and SIMWIN

Nick Clegg met the team that has been developing two assisted care products: "Guardian" and "SIMWIN"

Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, visited the Advanced Care Technologies (ACT) Programme at the University of Sheffield on July 31st.  The ACT programme is part funded by European Regional Development Funds.  

Nick Clegg met the team that has been developing two products that help vulnerable people and their carers: "Guardian" and "SIMWIN".  Both enable users to talk with carers and friends through a simple interface.  People who are turned off by modern technology are comfortable using them.

"Guardian" has been developed by BiBCOM, a Sheffield company.  It links mobile phones with a camera to provide a video-telephone link between a vulnerable person and a relative or carer living elsewhere.  The camera is switched on by a phone call from anywhere in the world.  The vulnerable person has a pendant with a button that with one touch directly telephones the carer.

BBC One featured BiBCOM 3G covert camera unit

Nick Clegg is impressed by "Guardian" Products

Easa Taheri, Managing Director of BiBCOM, demonstrated the system.  Dr Steve Blackburn of ACT described the positive results from trials of the Guardian system with South Yorkshire families. 

Kingkraft Ltd, an established Sheffield healthcare company, organised the trial of the Guardian system and is responsible for distributing the system in the UK.  Nigel Harrison, the Managing Director, explained that his company sees strong growth in the market for personal communication systems.

The other product, SIMWIN, provides intuitive touch-screen access to pre-selected Internet sites and computer functions.  It has been developed by Peter Cudd and colleagues in the ACT team. 

Trials of SIMWIN are underway with residents and day-centre clients in Sheffcare Ltd’s care homes.  The most valued features are video-telephone calls with relatives, and access to family photographs, games, newspapers and local history videos.

Both SIMWIN and the Guardian system are proudly "Made in Sheffield".  Nick Clegg was told that Sheffield has one of the largest concentrations of assistive technology researchers in the country.   

Nick Clegg commented,

"I am very impressed with the work of ACT and the potential of these products to help people who feel vulnerable and their families and carers."

"There are clearly many opportunities for local companies to provide jobs by developing such useful products."

“The close collaboration between university researchers and BiBCOM and Kingkraft is admirable."




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