(WFLX) - You've probably heard of wearable accessories, like a bracelet, to help you stay fit, but what about accessories to help you stay 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.
For Rachel Fredrick, a bracelet is also her secret weapon against crime. "It's very Wonder Woman-like," she said.
Hidden under her Cuff bracelet is a computer chip that can be activated by a simple touch and send an alert to family or friends. "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," said Cuff Founder Deepa Sood.
While wearable tech is already a hot buzzword, these wearable security devices take things one step further with functions; it is specifically designed to help keep us safe.
A First Sign hair clip contains sensors designed to automatically detect physical assault and send for help. "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," said Co-Founder of First Sign Technologies Rachel Emanuele.
It will also collect data that can help in a criminal investigation by 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. "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."
Experts say even with wearable security devices, there is 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.
As for Fredrick, she is happy for the opportunity to wear something that is both fashionable and functional. "It looks great, and it gives me a sense of security," she said.
Cuff jewelry packages range from $35 to $110 and contains a smart chip that will last for a year before it needs replacing. The First Sign hair clip will cost between $50 and $75 with an optional $5 a month monitoring fee.
More information on Cuff: http://www.cuff.io/
More information on First Sign Clip: http://firstsign.us