The device was invented by Hadrien Dorchy, a Belgian entrepreneur, after he found himself stranded at sea when the fin of his windsurfing board broke off. Since he was far from the shore and had no cellular signal, he couldn’t call for assistance. Luckily, a passing boat eventually rescued him. This experience inspired him to develop the O-BOY watch.
When not needed for rescue purposes, the watch simply displays the current time on its digital Gorilla Glass screen. However, if the user encounters trouble, there are two ways to request help.
If the user requires assistance but doesn’t face a life-threatening situation, they can press a button on the side of the watch five times consecutively. This action activates the GetMe service, which sends a prewritten message along with the user’s GPS coordinates via satellite to up to four personal contacts.
On the other hand, if the user is injured or in a more serious situation, they can press the button eight times. This activates the RescueMe service, which sends an SOS signal with GPS coordinates to the nearest emergency rescue station.
Moreover, if the user simply wants others to know their whereabouts at all times, they can press the button for 10 seconds at the beginning of their outing. This triggers the watch’s TrackMe service, which transmits the user’s current GPS coordinates to up to four contacts at intervals of 5, 20, or 60 minutes.
The O-BOY watch is designed to be resistant to dust, shocks, and water up to a depth of 10 meters (33 feet). A single charge of its lithium battery should last for at least seven days of standby use or allow the sending of a minimum of 48 messages. Importantly, it does not require pairing with a smartphone to request help. A Bluetooth smartphone connection is only necessary for initially selecting the four contacts and composing the GetMe message using an app.