According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 91% of victims of rape and sexual assault in the U.S. are female. Additionally, one in five women are raped during their lifetime. These shocking numbers point to a large, systemic problem that needs addressing from multiple perspectives.
A few tech companies have taken on the role of finding a way to expand on existing tools for personal safety. Helping women find the help they need more quickly—or simply giving them a tool to disorient a possible attacker—can make a huge difference. These wearable products prove especially useful because they can often camouflage into a woman’s outfit; some resemble jewelry pieces while others blend into a ring of keys. These products prove that personal safety can benefit from technology when the two come together in innovative ways.
As with many wearable devices that focus on safety, Safelet was designed with speed and convenience in mind. The bracelet has two buttons on the side that users can press to send a message to contact within a Guardian Network. If the situation is one of high danger, friends and family members who see the alert can automatically call an emergency number like 911 from within the app. The smart bracelet also syncs with the user’s mobile phone to start recording audio.
Disguised as an average ring, SIREN actually helps users stay safe by emitting a piercing, loud sound to confuse and distract attackers. The sound is over 110 decibels loud and can be heard from 50 feet away. Users simply twist the top of the ring to the left, approximately 60 degrees, to emit the loud sound. In a little over a second, the sound begins; this delay also allows the user to switch the ring back off in cause the situation doesn’t require it anymore. Its stylish design and easy access make it simple to use in variety of situations.
In an effort to make the personal safety device more discreet, Stiletto Charms mimic the aesthetic of modern jewelry. They can complement virtually any outfit but secretly manage a variety of functionalities. Using the Stiletto mobile app, users can create an emergency profile, set up emergency contacts, plan a route and check the device’s battery level. Besides contacting friends and family members, Stiletto Charms can also reach 911 dispatches in the U.S.—and they even have a voice-assisted alert system to communicate when the user might not be able to speak.
ROAR for Good created its first product, Athena, to create a simple way for women to get help. Roughly the size of a half dollar coin, Athena activates a loud alarm when users press a button. The device then sends an alert with the location of the user to contacts who can help. The device can be attached to a purse or even worn as a necklace (a recessed button avoids any accidental alarms). Users can also set the device to silent mode so that Athena still sends information to contacts without making a sound.
From a distance, Revolar looks almost like a small garage clicker. Oval-shaped and measuring less than two inches, it easily clips onto a jeans pocket or sports bra. An alternate case lets users easily attach it to a set of keys. When pressed twice, Revolar sends a ‘yellow alert’ to designated contacts; they receive a text message with the user’s location and a message saying the user feels unsafe. A triple-press sends a ‘red alert’ which indicates the user is in need of serious help. Revolar requires no extra app download—just the appropriate contact information.