Tech That Protects: Wearable Safety Solutions

By Kathy Hosler

No one leaves their house in the morning expecting to have a medical emergency, be in an accident, or be the victim of a crime. But these occurrences can and do happen every day. The majority of groomers work alone.

If you have an emergency, being able to get immediate assistance can potentially be the difference between life and death.

Many salons have a security system that includes a panic button by the register. However, it does you no good if you are unable to press it. In a salon or retail situation, more than one person could come in and distract then overpower you before you can get to the register area and press the button.

What will you do if you are working alone and the huge dog you are grooming suddenly freaks out and traps you where you cannot reach your cell phone?

Suppose you are driving your van to service a new client in an unfamiliar area. What if you get an uneasy or ‘bad’ feeling when you meet them? And, how about the person that wants to get too friendly? We all know that it happens, and you don’t have to have movie star looks for someone to make unwanted advances toward you.

What will you do if you are opening your car door to head home for the night, and out of nowhere, someone grabs your purse and takes off? They have everything—your phone, your day’s receipts, your ID—they have your life! How can you protect yourself and get help in these scary situations? When you’re alone, it’s up to you to take charge of your own safety. With today’s wearable technology, you can.

This empowering technology is available in necklaces, bracelets, and clip–on devices that you can wear under your clothing, as well as key rings, watches, or rings. A lot of wearable personal safety devices connect wirelessly to a compatible smart phone. With many of them, you will select several family members or friends who will serve as your contacts, and they will be alerted should you need assistance. Other devices instantly connect you to a response center which will send the appropriate help (police, ambulance, etc.) to your location.

Most wearable devices are activated by simply pressing a button that puts you in immediate contact with assistance. Imagine having the peace of mind knowing that help is available at your fingertips.

The most basic device is the audible alarm. When you are in immediate danger, sometimes an ear–piercing alarm is all you need to scare your attacker away, or to alert nearby people.

• The SIREN ring emits a piercing alarm of over 110 decibels by simply twisting the top of the ring.

• The Athena ROAR can be worn as a necklace. When it is activated, a loud alarm sounds, and it sends an alert along with your location to your personal contacts.

In other situations, you want to be able to silently summon help. If you are face to face with a person that is putting you in danger, your distress signal can be sent discretely if you are wearing a personal safety device.

Some of them can send different levels of alerts to your contacts. For example with the Revolar devices, you press it once for a check–in (it lets your contacts know by text message that you have arrived safely at your destination). If you press it twice, it will send a yellow alert to let loved ones know that you may need assistance. You can even program it to send a pre–recorded call to your phone providing you an exit to an uncomfortable situation. If you press it three times, it sends a message that you need immediate help.

Many of these devices will vibrate to let you know that your message was successfully sent to your contacts.

• The about to be released Nimb smart ring can be activated even if your hands are restricted. You simply press the panic button (located on the underside of the ring) with your thumb. A message with your location is sent to your friends, family, and emergency services.

• The Fob fits on your key ring. When you press the SOS button for three seconds, it sends an alert message to your contacts—and it also gives them your coordinates.

• The Artemis is a necklace—or it comes as a clip–on device that can be fastened to a bra strap or carried in a pocket. When you activate it, your call for help goes to a security service who immediately notifies police and your contacts. In addition, it provides a live audio feed to the security operator.

• The Wearsafe Tag uses a Bluetooth–paired app to send an alert to the contacts you have chosen. When your contacts are alerted, they receive your GPS coordinates and live audio from your location and it also allows a group chat between your responders to co–ordinate their response actions.

• The Occly Bodycam can be worn on the body or clipped to an accessory (perhaps mounting it on or near your grooming station). It has a panic button, four cameras, a microphone, LED lighting, wireless capabilities, and multiple sensors. When the alarm is pressed, images and live audio are sent to the response center and they dispatch the needed help to your location.

These are just a few of the many devices that are available. Check them out. Do a little research and you can select the one that will work best for you. Some of these companies charge a monthly fee for their services, while others are free. You can’t put a price on your safety and peace of mind. Make wearable technology part of your daily routine—because you never know what the day ahead will bring. ✂

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