According to the statistics by the World Health Organization, drowning ranks third among unintentional injury deaths in the world: every year, water claims more than 300 thousand lives. The high fatality rate can be decreased by using modern high-technology personal floating devices (PFD). Aquatic Saver offers a panic button for children and those who can't swim well, which sends information about the drowning person to several contacts simultaneously, and is fixed with a PFD which allows you to stay afloat until the lifeguards arrive.

The band is to be worn around the neck and turns into a gas-filled flotation ring once the button is pressed; it also sends a GPS-signal with coordinates to rescue services, relatives or designated individuals depending on the settings. According to Natalia Khazanova, the project's head, the band has an automatic operating mode which turns it on after a person's head has been submerged for 25 seconds.

"The reason of death is often not drowning, but hypothermia — the person can be in a life vest, stay afloat, but die just because he or she couldn't be found in time. Our invention solves several problems simultaneously: it is both a PFD and a distress system; it also looks good — sometimes people neglect life-saving equipment for aesthetic reasons or due to being ashamed of not knowing how to swim", notes Natalia Khazanova.

According to her, Aquatic Saver weighs only 170 grams, does not impede movement, looks like a necklace and can be of different colors. As of now, the device is on bench test stage. Anton Oblitsov, the project's research supervisor, shared that the testing is to be finished and the test batch of the bands is to be ready by February, 2017.

The pilot batch will be ready by spring, shortly before the next holiday season; at the same time, the developers will start to accept orders through crowdfunding platforms. According to the developer's forward estimates, the cost of a single product will be from four to seven thousand rubles depending on specifications. Natalia Khazanova adds that their invention also aims to attract public attention to the problems of responsible attitude to one's health and safety, as well as to increase the public literacy in what has to do with first aid in emergency cases.

"In 2016, ITMO's Business Incubator became partner of the GenerationS federal accelerator. As part of this collaboration, we've conducted acceleration programs in Sochi (Sea of Ideas) and Saint Petersburg (Future Technologies Start)", comments Elena Gavrilova, ITMO University's Business Incubator Head. "26 different projects were part of the Future Technologies Start program; for a month, participants created business models, worked on hypotheses and marketing plans, and analyzed finances. 11 of the projects took part in the final session on December 16th, where the three best projects were chosen. The Aquatic Saver project got the highest rating among the experts, as it had both a prototype ready for commercialization, and a detailed presentation prepared during the accelerator program."