Industrial - Bachelors


The POOL project pioneers an innovative child safety swimsuit designed to prevent drowning by detecting a child's movement, heart rate and oxygen saturation and adding buoyancy when distress is sensed, effectively combining technology and vigilant care to make aquatic environments safer for children.

The problem

Drowning remains one of the leading causes of accidental death among children worldwide. Despite supervision, drownings can occur swiftly and silently, leaving guardians with little to no time to react. Annually, a myriad of families suffer irreparable losses from paediatric drowning incidents, inflicting profound physical injuries and enduring psychological distress. Statistical analyses reveal that drowning constitutes a predominant cause of unintentional injury fatalities among the youth on a global scale. The persistence of such incidents as a considerable public health concern in developed nations further underscores the gravity of the situation.

Research findings

This report investigates how wearable technology can enhance the safety of swimmers and reduce the risk of drowning. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019, drowning is one of the major public health issues globally, accounting for 8% of accidental injuries and deaths each year. Despite WHO’s calls for all national governments to promote and establish multi-sectoral drowning prevention efforts, the mortality rate from drowning has not shown a significant change and has even shown signs of increase over the past decade. The study uses a mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative and qualitative research methods to collect data and explore the application of wearable technology in drowning prevention.

The research finds that inland water bodies such as rivers and creeks are the most common sites of drowning incidents, followed by beaches and harbours/ports. Causes of drowning include the absence of barriers to restrict access to water bodies, lack of adult supervision for children, poor swimming skills, and a lack of awareness of dangers. Although efforts by community centres, such as establishing safe water activity spaces, raising awareness of the vulnerability of swimmers to drowning, implementing safe boating regulations, and using life jackets can prevent drowning, the study points out that the main causes of drowning incidents are the behaviors of adolescents and young adults, particularly children. The study also notes that in most drowning cases in Australia, the victims were not alone when they drowned.

To address the increase in drowning incidents caused by human behaviour, the report suggests integrating engineering technologies such as smart gear, remotely controlled lifebuoys, smart water barriers, AI-enabled cameras, and life-saving drones. The report evaluates these technologies through survey data and interview analysis, particularly interviews with individuals who have experienced drowning and experts such as lifeguards.

Ultimately, the report emphasizes the importance of applying drowning detection technologies in different aquatic environments and highlights gaps in education and awareness. The report offers design implications, including how to integrate these technologies into existing water safety measures and how to prevent drowning incidents by raising public awareness of drowning risks. The report concludes with the research findings and provides a series of references and appendices for further reading and study.

Research Report
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What is “pool”?

“POOL” represents an innovative convergence of detection capabilities and pre-emptive safety measures, epitomizing the transformation of swimwear into a dynamic safeguard for children in aquatic environments. This advanced garment does not rely on external intervention; it autonomously initiates prompt and definitive action upon detecting the initial indicators of risk, offering a crucial margin of safety during time-critical situations.


The swimsuit is outfitted with an integrated airbag system and a duo of sophisticated sensors. The first sensor, comprised of a flexible sensor fabric, is intricately interwoven into the swimsuit, enabling continuous monitoring of movement and cardiac activity. This sensor adheres to the child’s body, mirroring their movements without impinging on their natural mobility. The second sensor, dedicated to assessing oxygen levels, vigilantly measures the child’s arterial oxygen saturation, maintaining surveillance to ensure physiological parameters remain within optimal thresholds—a heart rate ranging from 70 to 100 beats per minute and an oxygen saturation level spanning 95 to 99 percent.

Upon the occurrence of a vertical alignment of the body, reminiscent of a ladder-climbing motion, coupled with an accelerated heart rate and a decline in oxygen saturation, the swimsuit’s responsive mechanism is activated with exactitude. Within an essential five-second interval, the airbag is engineered to inflate completely, effectively elevating the child to a safer position with their head above water, thereby securing uninterrupted access to oxygen.

what does it look like after inflate

Technical details

Teresa Wang

Teresa is an accomplished industrial designer with a flair for creating functional and aesthetically pleasing products. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for innovation, she transforms ideas into tangible solutions that enhance everyday life. Her designs reflect a blend of practicality and artistry, standing out in a crowded marketplace.