Friday, September 17th, 2010

Adelaide based Red Button Technologies today launched its first product, a network based service that turns an ordinary telephone into an efficient personal emergency alerting device.

The system can be accessed at

The system addresses ambiguous emergency situations particularly for older people by facilitating fast connection to a group of friends and family who can provide consultation in a suspected emergency. If needed, an immediate three way connection to Triple Zero is available at the press of a single button.

“Red Button provides several advantages,” said Chief Executive Officer, Justin Wearne.
“The first major advantage is that it works wide area. Most emergency alert devices only work from within the home. Secondly the system operates with any mobile or fixed line device, overcoming the need to purchase new hardware and having it installed and configured. Red Button is simple and can be set-up via our website within minutes and becomes operational immediately.”

Network based, not a downloaded app
The Red Button system is networked based meaning that no download is required.
“Most people now assume that a device application (or “app”) is required for a new phone product. Not with Red Button, all the smarts are in the network, so it can operate with any phone and on any network” said Justin Wearne.

Red Button utilises friends and family as a “guardian group”. A person in distress dials the Red Button service which then contacts every guardian simultaneously. The first guardian to answer is connected to the caller. Up to 9 guardians can be contacted.
The guardians who did not answer are sent a text message informing them who made the call and who answered. Further text messages are sent if Triple Zero is dialed, and a final broadcast text message can be issued by the family member or friend who handled the situation.

Conference call with Triple Zero
The Red Button system has a unique conference calling feature. While the user is talking to their guardian (friend or family) a three way call can be made to another guardian or Triple Zero.

“The conference call with Triple Zero feature is an important innovation. It allows a distressed person to feel less intimidated about calling for help while still allowing friends or family to call emergency services.”

The conference call with Triple Zero also allows the guardian to assist by acting as an interpreter, clarifying medical history and location information, therefore allowing for a more effective communication.

“With the introduction of Red Button we are hoping for a more effective use of the Triple Zero service with fewer false calls and more effective outcomes,” said Justin Wearne.
"Many people do not use the Triple Zero service effectively, either calling about trivialities, calling too late, or not calling at all. This is the Triple Zero dilemma."

Red Button addresses how to best satisfy two conflicting sides of the emergency services equation; on one hand promoting a clear public message to call Triple Zero "sooner rather than later" in an emergency, on the other hand warning people to only call when they have a “critical need” to avoid clogging emergency services with nuisance calls.

“Our market research conducted in September 2009, determined that over 30% of people would not call Triple Zero first in an emergency.”

What does it cost?
The Red Button service is available from $9.90 per month (incl. GST) plus usage charges.
“$9.90 per month compares very favorably with alarm monitoring services which cost around $30 to $40 per month plus several hundred dollars of equipment installation costs,” said Justin Wearne.

Red Button is working on other innovative products to be launched early next year.


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Contact Profile

Red Button Technologies

Red Button Technologies Pty Ltd was formed in 2006 through a partnership between telecommunications expert Professor Reg Coutts and technology specialist marketer Justin Wearne.

Professor Coutts was a member of the expert panel formed by the Federal Government in 2008 to provide advice on the National Broadband Network which led to the announced policy to invest $43 billion on the national network; he is an Emeritus Professor of telecommunications at the University Adelaide

Red Button Technologies received an AusIndustry COMET Grant in February 2009 to develop the Connectivity Server prototype and to assist with commercialisation of the venture.

In December 2009, Red Button announced that it had received a $500k investment from Melbourne based firm Optimation Software Engineering and had entered into an agreement to develop and commercialise Red Button’s Connectivity Server platform leading to the development of their first consumer product.

Justin Wearne
P: 0414 744 481


personal emergency alert, red button, triple zero, telecommunications, mobile phone



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