Maintaining personal safety may be the best reason to have a wearable
In 2000, writer and longboard rider Kathy Roma was stabbed in the stomach and heart area repeatedly by an assailant in the light of day, 200 feet from a police station.
“What actually saved me was the call for help,” she says in a video where she tells her story. “Sixteen years ago I had few options, so I used my voice.”
More than a decade later, she’s debuting a wearable device that allows its wearers to call for help immediately, whether they can use their voice.
The Nimb ring features a panic button.
At JCK, we talk a lot about what makes a wearable worth, well, wearing. Fitness and activity tracking is a natural application for connected devices—our marathon-running managing editor Melissa Rose Bernardo wears a Fitbit brand when training, and I don a very unpretty Scosche heart rate monitor for treadmill zone training.
But maintaining personal safety may be the very best reason for strapping on a wearable device. In an emergency, we may not always be able to reach our phone—but chances are we’d be able to tap or press a button on a ring.
Nimb, one of the best-looking safety wearables I’ve seen, has raised more than $190,000 on Kickstarter (well over its stated goal of $50,000) and is set to ship in March 2017 to Kickstarter backers who have pledged $119 or more.
A video by Nimb that tells Kathy Roma’s horrific story of her stabbing 16 years ago
Here’s how it works: Through the Nimb phone app, you create a “safety circle” of friends, family members, and even the local police, who you would want to contact in an emergency. This circle is notified of your exact location if you push and hold a button on the back of the ring with your thumb. A gentle vibration lets you know you’re calling your circle and that help is on the way—a very cool feature.
The $149 ring comes in black and white, and a single battery charge lasts two weeks.
While I can’t see wearing a wearable regularly to stay more connected (no thanks!), I can envision wearing one on nights spent at, say, a cool bar in a not-so-nice neighborhood. Here’s hoping more device developers answer that demand.
(All photos and video courtesy of Nimb)