Women’s Safety XPRIZE $1M winner is a smart, simple panic button


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Units like smartphones ought to assist individuals really feel safer, however for those who’re in actual hazard the very last thing you need to do is pull out your telephone, go to your current contacts and sort out a message asking a pal for assist. The Women’s Safety XPRIZE simply awarded its $1 million prize to considered one of dozens of corporations trying to make a security wearable that’s easy and reasonably priced.

The official problem was to create a tool costing lower than $40 that may “autonomously and inconspicuously set off an emergency alert whereas transmitting info to a community of group responders, all inside 90 seconds.”

Anu and Naveen Jain, the entrepreneurs who funded the competitors, emphasised the worldwide and really current hazard of sexual assault particularly.

“Ladies’s security isn't just a 3rd world drawback; we face it daily in our personal nation and on our school campuses,” stated Naveen Jain within the press launch saying the winner. “It’s not a pink state drawback or a blue state drawback however a nationwide drawback.”

“Security is a elementary human proper and shouldn’t be thought-about a luxurious for ladies. It's the basis in attaining gender equality,” added Anu Jain.

Out of dozens of groups that entered, 5 finalists have been chosen in April: Artemis, Leaf Wearables, Nimb & SafeTrek, Saffron and Soterra. All had some variation on a tool that both detected or was manually activated throughout an assault or disturbing state of affairs, alerting associates to at least one’s location.

The winner was Leaf, which had the benefit of getting already shipped a product alongside these strains, the Safer pendant. Like another Bluetooth accent, it retains in contact together with your smartphone wirelessly and if you press the button twice your emergency contacts are alerted to your location and wish for assist. It additionally data audio, probably offering proof later or a deterrent to harassers who may worry being recognized.

It’s not that it’s an unique concept — we’ve had various versions of this for a while, and even covered one of the other finalists last year. However they haven’t been quantitatively evaluated or given a platform like this.

“These units have been examined in lots of circumstances by the judges to make sure that they may work in real-life instances the place ladies face risks at present. They have been examined in no-connectivity areas, on public transit, in basements of buildings, amongst different environments,” defined Anu Jain to TechCrunch. “Having the potential to report audio after sending the alert was one of many essential differentiators for Leaf Wearables. Their chip design and software program was additionally straightforward to be built-in into different equipment.”

Hopefully the million dollars and the visibility from profitable the prize will assist Leaf get its product out to individuals who want it. The runners-up don’t appear doubtless to surrender on the issue, both. And it looks like the units will solely get higher and cheaper — not that this can change the world by itself.

“Costs will come down because the sensor costs drop. In lots of nations it's going to require group help to be constructed,” continued Jain. “These applied sciences can act as a deterrent however in the long run tradition of violence once more ladies should change.”