Crime-Fighting Jewelry - Do Wearable Security Products Work?
You've probably heard of wearable technology to help you stay fit, like pedometers or smart bracelets, but what about jewelry you can wear that might keep you safe?
Start-up companies are creating fashionable gadgets that will sound the alarm if you find yourself in trouble, and even record sound and video to use as evidence later.
KMPH FOX 26 10 O'clock News anchor, Ashley Ritchie, took a closer look at these products in this special report.
Hidden underneath Rachel Frederick's Cuff bracelet is a computer chip that can be activated by a simple touch that will send an alert to family or friends. "It's very Wonder Woman-like It looks great, and it gives me a sense of security." said Frederick.
Cuff founder, Deepa Sood said, "You press your Cuff and an alert goes out to the people you designate as your first responders in our app, and they get your location in case of emergency."
While wearable tech is already a hot buzzword, these wearable security devices take things one step further, with functions specifically designed to help keep us safe. The First Sign Hair Clip contains sensors designed to automatically detect physical assault, and send for help.
First Sign Technologies co-founder, Rachel Emanuele said, "The Smart Clip will know the difference between impacts associated with violent crimes and impacts from every day usage. Anything that's your normal routine won't set off the alarm. But anything associated with the violent crimes will."
In addition to sounding the alarm, the smart clip will also collect data that can help in a criminal investigation, activating your phone's GPS, camera and microphone. "Our goal is to identify, deter, apprehend, and prosecute attackers," said Emanuele.
The products don't require a charge to work, but you do need to have a smart phone and a signal. "The way that they work is, they work over low energy Bluetooth. They still depend on your phone to send out some sort of signal or communication. So if you're in a location where you don't have a signal, it's just not going to help you," said CNET senior editor Brian Tong.
Tong says wearable security products are so new, the jury is still out on whether they will catch on. "They're going to get better. There's going to be a point where we can start integrating them into the systems like 911 or public services. But they're still so new. How much technology people are willing to wear and actually purchase has still yet to figure itself out," said Tong.
Experts say, even with wearable security devices, there's no substitute for common sense when it comes to safety. "As a user you can't depend on technology to keep you safe. It sometimes comes down to a low-tech solution. You have to be aware of your surroundings," said Tong.
Right now, Cuff jewelry packages range from $35 to $110, containing a smart chip that will last for a year before needing to be replaced.
The First Sign Hair Clip will cost between $50 and $75 with an optional $5 a month monitoring fee.