Gadgets like smartphones ought to assist individuals really feel safer, however if you happen to’re in actual hazard the very last thing you wish to do is pull out your telephone, go to your latest contacts and sort out a message asking a pal for assist. The Ladies’s Security XPRIZE simply awarded its $1 million prize to one in every of dozens of corporations making an attempt to make a security wearable that’s easy and inexpensive.
The official problem was to create a tool costing lower than $40 that may “autonomously and inconspicuously set off an emergency alert whereas transmitting data to a community of group responders, all inside 90 seconds.”
Anu and Naveen Jain, the entrepreneurs who funded the competitors, emphasised the worldwide and really current hazard of sexual assault particularly.
“Ladies’s security is not only a 3rd world downside; we face it day-after-day in our personal nation and on our school campuses,” stated Naveen Jain within the press launch asserting the winner. “It’s not a purple state downside or a blue state downside however a nationwide downside.”
“Security is a basic human proper and shouldn’t be thought-about a luxurious for ladies. It’s the basis in attaining gender equality,” added Anu Jain.
Out of dozens of groups that entered, 5 finalists have been chosen in April: Artemis, Leaf Wearables, Nimb & SafeTrek, Saffron and Soterra. All had some variation on a tool that both detected or was manually activated throughout an assault or traumatic scenario, alerting buddies to at least one’s location.
The winner was Leaf, which had the benefit of getting already shipped a product alongside these strains, the Safer pendant. Like every other Bluetooth accent, it retains in contact together with your smartphone wirelessly and whenever you press the button twice your emergency contacts are alerted to your location and want for assist. It additionally information audio, probably offering proof later or a deterrent to harassers who may worry being recognized.
It’s not that it’s an authentic concept — we’ve had numerous variations of this for a while, and even lined one of many different finalists final yr. However they haven’t been quantitatively evaluated or given a platform like this.
“These units have been examined in lots of situations by the judges to make sure that they’ll work in real-life circumstances the place girls face risks at this time. They have been examined in no-connectivity areas, on public transit, in basements of buildings, amongst different environments,” defined Anu Jain to TechCrunch. “Having the potential to file audio after sending the alert was one of many most important differentiators for Leaf Wearables. Their chip design and software program was additionally straightforward to be built-in into different equipment.”
Hopefully the million and the visibility from successful the prize will assist Leaf get its product out to individuals who want it. The runners-up don’t appear doubtless to surrender on the issue, both. And it looks like the units will solely get higher and cheaper — not that this can change the world by itself.
“Costs will come down because the sensor costs drop. In lots of nations it’ll require group assist to be constructed,” continued Jain. “These applied sciences can act as a deterrent however in the long run tradition of violence once more girls should change.”