Aug 28 2020

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In 2016, XPRIZE launched a $1 million global competition with Anu and Naveen Jain to develop tech to ensure women’s safety across the world. Their challenge asked participants to create a device that sends an emergency alert in less than 90 seconds and costs less than $40. 

Grand prize winner, Leaf Wearables, won the competition by creating a device called Safer Pro, a smart safety device that sends emergency alerts with location details to a users’ guardians when they sense danger. Safer Pro is a small chip that can ultimately be put into any device or jewelry with a discreet emergency alert button. When the alert is received, it additionally lets you record audio from the time of the alert. Leaf Wearables has sold tens of thousands of its early version smart devices in India, including smart jewelry and watches. The Safer Pro device works everywhere, including rural area and places without wireless networks.  

One in three women around the world face sexual violence in their life and 92% of New Delhi women have reported sexual violence in public spaces in their lifetime.

The competition challenged innovators around the world to create a device that can inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert if a woman is facing a threat and transmit information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds and costing under $40. A diverse range of 85 initial teams from 18 countries including, United States, India, Switzerland, Canada, Spain, Germany, China and United Arab Emirates, heeded the call. Among all competing teams were app developers, technology researchers, top-tier academic institutions and startups working toward safety for women worldwide.

The five finalist solutions were tested to see how the devices might fare across a variety of environments including high rise office buildings, college campuses, in public transit, and at home. Devices ranged from smart jewelry that can trigger emergency alerts to other wearables that detect physical gestures and speech recognition for emergency triggers. Most importantly, all of the solutions from the finalist teams work in areas of no cell connection.

Check out Safer Pro in Now This News.