One of the more interesting trends to come out of wearable development, is in personal security. In some instances that’s been to do with biometric scanning devices that can help protect your digital accounts and identity, but in others, they’re more interested in keeping you safe in the real world, like the V.ALRT.
The V.ALRT is a wrist, neck or anywhere else mounted wearable that is designed to give you a quick and easy way to let people know you’re in trouble in the event of a difficult or dangerous situation. It’s made up of a small sensor with a single button on it, that when activated, sends a command to your smartphone over bluetooth 4.0, to text personalised alert messages to three pre-chosen individuals in your contact list. The idea being, that you can tell your most trusted friends and family that you’re in trouble and need immediate assistance.
If you’re separated from your phone too, never fear as the bluetooth commands can be sent over a range of 75ft indoors and up to 300ft outdoors.
Along with that message will be GPS coordinates for your location, allowing those people to find you. In-case they miss the text too, you can set up a system that gives them a call after a while to get their attention, prompting them to check their messages.
The V.ALRT has enough battery to last for a whole year and uses a simple cell battery so it’s easily replaced. Its app works on both Android and iOS platforms and allows for full customisation of the alert message and procedure.
The sensors can also detect falls, so the V.ALRT is great if your child is going off on a little adventure, as you’ll be able to detect if they might be coming home with skinned knees. It’s not the end of the world if they fall in a puddle either, as the sensor is waterproof up to one metre for up to half an hour.
The V.ALRT is available from $60 (£35) with free postage. It comes with a wrist strap and neckband, though the brooch attachment is sold separately.
I’m a little sad to see that the V.ALRT doesn’t seem to have an option for contacting emergency services. It might be nice to see options for multiple alert types too, so if in need of help but not in danger of your life you could send out a call.
The V.ALRT is a well fleshed out and importantly, affordable smart wearable that would be good for children as well as adults. It’s just a shame the police can’t be called in the event of a real emergency.