Sometimes walking alone in the middle of the night can make your blood run cold. It’s dark and hauntingly quiet – the perfect recipe for making you a bundle of nerves. For some reason, you have a bad feeling about something. You don’t know why, but you just do. You speed up your step and when you finally reached home, you heave a collective sigh of relief. It then hits you: you really should not walk home alone when it’s in the dead of night.
Meet Warybee, a fashionable and wearable technology to use during an emergency. This new start-up is one of the 12 projects, selected out of 400, on Crowdtivate, a platform for Entrepreneurs to gather contributions from the crowd in the form of feedback, funding, resources, or ideas. We previously wrote about the crowdfunding site on Vulcan Post back in April.
Like many great minds of today, the Warybee team went through several stumbling blocks. As reported by Tech in Asia, Founder Roy Teng and partner Bernie Eng originally tried out voice activation and motion sensing before finding what truly works for them — a wearable technology that also functions as an accessory.
“Initially we decided to try out voice activation via the victim’s phone – all he or she needs to do is shout out for help, and an alarm would be activated. However, after some testing, we realized that since phones are usually kept in one’s bag or jeans pocket, it might not be able to capture the voice properly.” — Roy Teng, founder of Warybee, during an interview with Tech in Asia
Warybee comes in the form of a necklace or bracelet. It comes with a triggering device hidden in a small pendant on the jewellery. In the case of an emergency, all the victim needs to do is press it. A signal will then be sent to the phone of a person (or people) based on the victim’s choice. Termed as “guardians”, these people need to install the Warybee app in order to receive the signal. Teng shares that the radius covered by the device stands at 30 metres. What’s more, the pendant is made of aluminium which makes it able to withstand violent treatment in the course of an attack.
“Firstly, we can design it such that the victim has to press the button for two to three seconds to activate the alarm. Secondly, we can create three to five seconds long ‘pre-warning’ tones to inform the victim that the signal is about to be triggered – if you don’t stop it within that time, it will be sent.” — Roy Teng on building two override functions to prevent false signals during an interview with Tech in Asia
“Shopping malls with such carparks tend to be very worried about their reputation, and would do anything to prevent cases like these from happening. What we eventually want to do to help them is to plant smartphone-like transmitting devices around these carparks. So once a signal is triggered, it will immediately be sent to the security guard in the mall – simple as that.” — Roy Teng’s interview wth Tech in Asia
Since Warybee is still in its infancy stage, there are several tweaks the team has to implement. For now, Teng is focusing on estimating the demand for the device. If all goes well, each Warybee will cost S$40 to S$50 each. The app is currently compatible with smart wearables such as the Samsung Gear 2.
Here’s to hoping for a slightly safer world, where we can walk home in the dead of the night and not feel like we should be running crazily instead of walking leisurely.
Featured Image credit: Warybee