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Japanese telecommunications giant NTT Group will test a smart jacket for miners designed by Chilean engineering students, NTT Group senior research engineer Hideyuki Iwata told BNamericas.
The jacket, called the Mobile Monitoring Station is made by an R&D firm SoluNova and is equipped with technology that transmits a miner's vital signs in real time and sends out warnings when conditions become dangerous. The jacket was inspired by the rescue of the 30 Chilean miners who were trapped deep underground in 2010 before eventually being rescued.
NTT is no stranger to the Chilean mining business having teamed up with Chilean state copper miner Codelco in 2006 to co-found MICOMO, a company providing communication and monitoring solutions to the mining industry.
The company was acquired by Chilean private business incubator Fundación Chile in 2012.
NTT Group is a conglomerate made up of multiple different information and communications (ICT) solutions companies including converged communications solutions provider Dimension Data and systems integrator NTT Data.
NTT Communications provides consultancy, architecture, security and cloud services to optimize the information and communications technology ICT environments of enterprises.
Iwata said that NTT is also exploring options for providing fiber-based solutions for smart cities including earthquake sensors, which could be of use in seismically-active countries like Chile.
NTT also develops equipment for monitors used for medical purposes.