This is the eighth post in our series: Discover Korea’s Tech, where we will talk to a mix of Korean startup entrepreneurs who stood their own ground with their technology, in Korea’s economy notoriously dominated by gigantic companies. Stay tuned over the coming month as we talk to Korean entrepreneurs. You can follow our updates @technodechina for new stories in the series.
When the Sewol ferry capsized, it took 304 souls with it. This raised awareness of safety in every sector and every industry in the country after. China has also seen many industrial accidents over the past few decades, including factory explosions and mudslides. Unfortunately, it is common for safety managers to often inspect the site as a mere formality, leading to higher chances of accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
Great Safety Information Laboratory (GSiL) aims to solve this problem by providing an AI-powered safety management system for safety managers.
“There has been some startups in the safety sector. However, it was hard for them to customize their solution to all different situations,” CEO of GSiL, Elisha Lee told TechNode.
To prevent accidents, GSiL collects tens of thousand of data points from environmental sensors and equipment. They have come up with AI-powered risk metrics and a safety system that monitors the location of workers and checks equipment using NFC tags. This allows wireless Internet to work on construction sites and tunnels.
GSiL differentiates itself from other safety solutions by allowing for a large degree of customization, depending on the scale of the construction site.
For example, when workers are digging a tunnel, the manager can see who’s in charge of it. On the top of the tunnel, GSiL installs an antenna and wireless CCTV cameras inside the tunnel. When working inside the tunnel, managers can check where all the big equipment and workers are and check their work. The Korean company embeds a sensor in safety hats so that it can notify the server when a worker falls down. If the worker is likely to be hurt or cause another accident, he will be marked yellow.
“Small construction sites have more accidents then bigger construction sites because they don’t have to hire a safety manager. They easily ignore safety measures, increasing the possibility of accident occurrence,” Mr. Lee says.
China saw total investments in smart cities that 260 billion USD by the end of 2015, according to data from the China Academy of ICT (CAICT). Smart city planners care about safety, public energy and its impact on residents. GSiL aims to provide its safety solution for Chinese local governments working with smart cities.
GSiL is also aware of the importance of the search after an accident occurs.
“When there is an accident, firefighters need to know if the accident is at a chemical factory or a construction site with 300 workers or 20 workers. We set up assistance guidelines for rescuers so that they can prepare the rescue work that corresponds to the scale of the accident,” Mr. Lee says.
Their main competitor is Norway-based DNVGL, a consulting company focused on safety. GSiL doesn’t have any clients from overseas yet, but they have said they see potential partnerships with rail alliances and fire stations. GSiL has already scooped 400 million KRW (340,000 USD) seed round investment from BigBang Angels.
GSiL is supported by K-ICT Born2Global Center, a major Korean government agency under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP).
Image Credit: GSiL