Malaysian dude and father of two, Ray Teng, wanted to create something that would help if his children were to ever find themselves in trouble. He created a software solution-turned-wearable panic button that will broadcast a child’s whereabouts both to their guardian list, as well as other nearby network users. That way, if a child is kidnapped, not only will parents receive notification, but people with the app nearby can snap to action, looking for anything suspicious.
Teng is part of the team at WaryBee, which now fashions their wearable beacon creation inconspicuously as jewelry. First, Teng and his team tried software triggered by motion activation and voice activation. But the false positives weren’t working. That’s how the idea for wearable tech styled like jewelry came about.
The “panic button” as they call it, is hidden within a necklace or bracelet. When pressed, the victim’s location is pinpointed via their phone’s GPS and sent via Bluetooth to the phone, then relayed to the WaryBee server, so that it can be broadcast widely without relying on the original phone. Then, the people on the victim’s guardian list are notified.
But, questions remain: what if the user is in an area without cell service? What if the user doesn’t have a cellphone? Teng noted he’s aware that many kidnappings in the Malaysia happen in underground parking lots and so as a service, WaryBee could develop a signal transmitters that would alert the on-site guard.
One of the cool things about the WaryBee tech is that since locations of alerts are relayed to a centralized server, data can be extracted; crime “hot-spots” can be found if multiple users are activating the WaryBee within the same area over time.
Is the WaryBee the future of anti-kidnapping tech? Does a wearable trump all of the tech on our cellphones? If a child doesn’t have time to get their phone out and start up an app, will it be easier to press a panic button on a necklace? Will children have to always have to have a cellphone and necklace in order to feel “safe” in public?
Or, if you don’t like all the high-techiness of the WaryBee on your kid, you can gift your children the A-K Band, which hides a ceramic razor blade, a polymer handcuff key, and a 4′ Kevlar friction saw in a watch band. Okay, now we’re just getting awesome.