Street Safety Has Gone the Way of the Bracelet


While tracking apps for women worried about street safety have grown in popularity, recently there’s another technology on the rise: wearable safety bracelets.

One such item is Safelet, which, according to a piece in the Daily Dot, is looking for funding via Indiegogo. It’s a bracelet featuring two buttons that can be pressed if you feel in danger on the street. Pressing them activates an alarm, which alerts your friends, family and the police to the fact that you’re in trouble, letting them know where you are using GPS tracking. The Safelet is also connected to an app on your phone, which means the technology goes one step further, recording whatever’s happening to you on your phone for posterity’s sake.

As the Daily Dot explains, there are numerous other similar products to Safelet out there:

There’s First Sign, which offers a $95 hair band or hair clip that use a built-in gyroscope and accelerometer to detect head impacts indicative of physical assault, then activates a microphone that records the incident while the wearer’s smartphone puts out a call to the police. There’s Cuff and Artemis, two competing lines of connected jewelry pieces that sync with a user’s smartphone via Bluetooth to alert police and family members when the wearer encounters danger. There’s Bembu, a FitBit-like bracelet currently fundraising on Indiegogo that promises similar safety functions, although its clumsily-executed campaign page doesn’t inspire much confidence.

All of these items still have to overcome the hurdle of whether women would want to wear them, not to mention the cost (Safelet is $129). In many ways, they’re an updated version of a ring my friend had in college that secretly contained pepper spray. I don’t think she ever felt like she had to use it, but she was glad to have it. Whether the use of wearable safety bracelets would actually cut down on women being harassed or attacked seems almost secondary; one of the biggest draws for products like this is simply piece of mind.

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