Wearable Tech Startup Focused On Personal Safety Raises $100k On Kickstarter
Connecticut startup Wearsafe Labs has raised more than $100,000 on Kickstarter to develop advanced wearable personal safety products, starting with the Wearsafe Tag—a small wearable panic button.
The company initially set out to raise $75,000 and surpassed that goal in less than four weeks.
“We couldn’t be happier with the success of this campaign,” says co-founder Phill Giancarlo. “But even more important, we are so appreciative to those who backed this project, who believe in our mission to really make a difference in this world.”
Wearsafe’s first product, the Wearsafe Tag, is a low-energy Bluetooth wearable device that can clip onto almost anything, allowing the wearer to quickly and discreetly call for help in an emergency. It works over a range of up to 200 feet from the user’s smartphone. When activated, a predetermined network instantly receives an alert through email, text, and the Wearsafe app, a group chat is started, and the network can see the wearer’s location via GPS and hear audio from the location. If emergency services are needed, network members can call 911 from within the app.
“The Wearsafe Tag is adaptable for your whole life,” says Kim Glooch, Wearsafe’s Chief Creative Officer. “From morning through the night, the Wearsafe Tag is designed to fit into your varied lifestyle and to empower you to live your life with the added sense of security. This innovative product is ideal for everyone including students, athletes, travelers, and parents.”
“We have an incredible team of angel investors who have supported us for nearly four years while we have developed and thoroughly tested this technology,” says Giancarlo, “but having so many supporters around the world who believe in our service and product is just overwhelming and we couldn’t be more excited to start shipping the Wearsafe boxes.”
Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Rich Staropoli, who is Wearsafe’s security advisor and the Chief Security Officer for Fortress in NYC, calls the device a game changer. “It’s a simple device, incredibly effective and works all the time. As a former Secret Service agent, if I couldn’t be there with the President, I would want him to have a Wearsafe Tag in his pocket.”
The Tag is also a great asset for college students, Staropoli says. “Research shows that 1 in 5 women will be a victim of secual assault on college campuses during a typical four-year course of study. As a father whose daughter is going to college in the fall I feel so strongly that this product should be on every college campus in America. With the knowledge that students could be wearing a Wearsafe-connected device, a college or university creates a significant deterring effect.
In addition to using the Wearsafe Tag as an activator, the company plans to enable other wearables to send alerts as well, including fitness trackers and smartwatches. Users will soon be able to use Pebble smartwatches to send alerts, with Apple Watch and Android Wear compatibility coming later this fall.
The Wearsafe Tag will cost about $40, and the service will cost $4.99 per month.