Whistl is an iPhone case that’s designed to add a layer of extra protection to the user’s daily routine. The accessory feeds off the linked smartphone’s battery, and offers three different modes that let the user quickly get in touch with friends and the authorities, as well as emit a bright strobe light and 120 dB alarm.
We’ve seen technology put to use to help prevent sexual assaults in the past, but the Whistl aims to take things a little further, working with the user’s iPhone to protect them at both at the point of attack and by automatically calling for help.
The case, which is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, is designed for the iPhone 5, 5s and 6, and connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth low energy. The accessory works together with the Lifeshel app, and consists of three key elements designed to prevent and deter sexual or other violent crimes. There’s a 120 dB alarm and 90 lumen strobing LED designed to disorient the attacker, as well as an ability to automatically notify friends and the police when the device is activated.
Those capabilities can be utilized in different combinations by way of the device’s three distinct modes. If the user presses the two side buttons once, then a message will be automatically sent to their pre-selected friends, following which the app will periodically check in with the user to make sure they’re OK. If there’s no response, then it will notify the police. There’s also a double-click stealth mode that silently contacts the police, and a long-press panic option that adds the alarm and LED disorientation functions.
Given the capabilities of the Whistl, you wouldn’t want to set it off by mistake. To make sure this doesn’t happen, Lifeshel has put several safeguards in place. The buttons have to be pressed at the same time to be activated, and they’re touch-sensitive, meaning you shouldn’t be able to accidentally activate it in your pocket or backpack. If you did accidentally set it off, then all’s not lost, as the product’s developer has built in a 15-second grace period before the app contacts the police. Only the user can disable the alert via a pre-assigned security password or gesture.
The project is looking to raise US$70,000 in its crowd funding campaign, but should the effort exceed expectations and hit its lofty $500,000 stretch goal, then the company plans to develop versions of the case for both Samsung Galaxy S and HTC One smartphone lines, as well as adapting the companion app for Android.
You can pre-order a Whistl in white or grey via Kickstarter for as little as US$57. The final retail price is expected to be $100, and if all goes to plan, the first batch of cases will ship in July 2015. In the meantime, you might also be interested in the stun gun-equipped Yellow Jacket smartphone case, or the pepper spray-shooting Spraytect.
Take a look at the project’s pitch video below for more on the Whistl.