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Stay Safer With Safer

Setting up a startup, Leaf Wearables, they designed a little button that can be fitted anywhere really — but they chose to fit it into trendy jewellery. The button connects to a phone via Bluetooth and an app. It's that simple, but eminently useful.

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

A bunch of IIT and Delhi Technological University (DTU) engineering graduates decided to put technology to good use to help make women safer. Living not too far away from the place where the rape of Nirbhaya had taken place, they found it was still dark and unsafe — as must be many places around the capital.

Setting up a startup, Leaf Wearables, they designed a little button that can be fitted anywhere really — but they chose to fit it into trendy jewellery. The button connects to a phone via Bluetooth and an app. It's that simple, but eminently useful.

The Safer button goes into specially designed pendants and bracelets that hold a little pocket for it to slip in. When worn, these are much more easily accessible than a phone, especially when an attacker would probably snatch the phone away. Two presses on the pendent or bracelet will trigger off SMS alerts to previously set "guardians" to get help as quickly as possible. The wearer can also enable tracking through an app so that, when on the go somewhere, a loved one can know where she is or whether there's any deviation from the route.

To charge the Safer button, all you have to do is use any phone charger with it for fifteen minutes. It'll then be good to go for a week. I tested it out on a leather cuff bracelet which has a pocket underneath to slip in the Safer. Wearing the lot is perfectly comfortable and all I needed to do to trigger it is squeeze my wrist with the bracelet on it. I even wore it to a get together and because the bracelet is quite trendy, got a bunch of complements.

But first, the wearer and appointed guardian or guardians must download the Safer app. I'd recommend spending some time trying out all the options so that you're sure you're well and truly connected to people who can help. I tried it out with two of my own phone numbers.

The guardian gets an invitation and must accept. He or she must also have the Safer app, skipping the connection to the jewellery, but registering all the same because the app is where the guardian can see the location of the person.

Two presses on the button will send an SMS to the guardian or call with a recorded message that says please listen carefully, so and so needs your help. The voice asks the guardian to open the app so that the location can be seen. I really think a better job could be done of that voice recording as it's neither clear nor in a great accent or intonation.

There's also an SOS button in the app and one can call the police or send a message to guardians announcing safe arrival. It's best to become familiar with what the app and device do before using it — or before you end up calling the cops by mistake.

When you're home and dry, you can press the Remove button in the app to disconnect and long-press the device to switch it off. That is, if you don't want to use it to use your phone's camera to click a selfie because it can act as a remote for that as well.

The Safer jewellery is designed by Ziveg for Leaf Wearables and is available on the Ziveg or Leaf Wearables site. Soon it will be available on Flipkart as well. There are about fifteen designs and the cost depends on what you choose, but they're pretty affordable at Rs,3,500 and below.