Pepper sprays and self-defense know-how are useful tools in protecting against violent attacks. But in the view of startup Roar, women shouldn't be made to change their lifestyles in order to feel safe. It has developed a discreet device that can be worn as a piece of jewelry and alert loved ones to their whereabouts when trouble arises.
Athena is described as smart safety jewelry and is designed to worn around the neck, attached to the waist or carried inside a bag. The small circular magnetic clip is equipped with Bluetooth and an activation button, which when pressed sends a distress signal to selected emergency contacts through the user's phone and notifies them of their location.
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To help avoid false alarms, Athena's button is recessed and must be held down for three seconds to activate the signal. While this will importantly allow the user's contacts to take action it is invariably going to be some time before help arrives. So Athena is also fitted with an alarm mode, which produces an 85 decibel noise intended to immediately spook an attacker and prevent things going from bad to worse.
Conscious that this won't be the best approach to every scenario, Roar is also building a silent mode into Athena, which allows for the the distress signal to be sent out without triggering the alarm. The company also says it is working on a function that makes an automated 911 call to notify emergency services once the button is pressed.
Athena joins a number of other devices intended to offer discreet calls for help when facing a violent attack. Last year we saw a successful crowdfunding campaign for a hair clip that senses impact to the head and notifies emergency contacts. Revolar, a small personal safety device that sends a distress signal when squeezed, also met its funding goal earlier this year.
Like those mentioned above, Athen is the subject of a crowdfunding campaign and seems to be attracting a healthy amount of interest. At the time of writing, it has raised more than US$26,000 of its $40,000 goal on Indiegogo. Early pledges of $75 will have an Athena clip headed your way in May 2016 if everything goes to plan.
You can check out the pitch video below.