GeoMoby looks to improve underground mining safety and communications

A Western Australia-based company has developed what it says is world-first geolocation technology for mining that could improve safety underground and potentially save companies millions of dollars each year.

GeoMoby – the name of the company and product – uses wireless, cable-free and reusable beacons to geofence sites, track assets and check on workforces, providing a layer of safety and efficiency never seen before, the company said.

The technology allows surface-to-underground communication through smart devices, meaning, for the first time, photographs and video can be sent to the surface from remote tunnels in deep underground sites.

GeoMoby Founder, Chris Baudia, said the accuracy of its Real Time Location Services allowed improved personnel safety, pinpointing locations within one metre of incidents, emergencies or equipment break down.

“If an incident occurs underground, mining companies are currently blind and rely on radio transmissions to pinpoint locations and relay instructions on how to respond,” Baudia said. “Our technology gives operators on the surface a clear picture of who is where underground, while allowing those below the surface to send and receive phone calls, videos, photos and audio files.”

Live mapping of assets is not only beneficial for safety reasons; it also allows operators to monitor equipment like trucks and other expensive machinery, checking speed, location, routes and other information, according to Baudia.

“Data collected can be used to boost productivity,” he said. “In fact, our live field reporting and automated timesheets resulted in a 20% boost in productivity for one of our clients.”

GeoMoby’s geolocation intelligence acts independent Wi-Fi, which can cost companies millions of dollars each year to maintain and does not give the range that GeoMoby’s technology does, it said.