Personal safety alarms have been around for a while in the form of whistles and loud audible alarms buttons, but they had a major flaw: you couldn’t be sure if there was anyone around to hear them, or whether the person who heard them would be someone who would help. Revolar’s button alarm, along with others such as ROAR for Good’s Athena, make sure that if you’re in trouble, you can get in touch with people you trust and that they will know exactly where you are.
The Revolar alarm can be worn on a waistband or keychain. If the person using it feels uncomfortable or threatened, she can press a button to send an alert to friends or family by text or e-mail. They can then go to an online link that gives them an alert level, location information and location changes since the alert originated. The unit uses Bluetooth LE, a battery life of a year, and is waterproof.
Revolar’s founder and CEO Jacqueline Ros started the company and developed the button alarm out of her concern for her sister, who was a victim of assault. The company’s startup received $3 million in venture capital from The Foundry Group, which also invested in Fitbit.
Although by far more women than men are the victims of assault, especially sexual assault, these alarms are not in any way gender-specific. They are certainly simple enough for school-age children to use, and could be a lifesaver for anyone who feels his or her lifestyle or job involves extra risk.
The product, which just emerged from a Kickstarter round, is available immediately in the U.S. and Canada for $99 at the company’s website.