This button and app will let you subtly alert friends or the police if you’re in a dangerous situation.
By Lindsey Logan, Pictures courtesy of Rally for Safety
This week, Rally for Safety is launching a wearable emergency-alert button and mobile app, quite literally aiming to put safety at the fingertips of its users.
Founded by two former U.S. Army Rangers, Mike Murphy and Chris Espe were inspired by Murphy’s mom to create a subtle, easily accessible method of protection. One night, he received a precautionary phone call from his mom, who wanted to chat until she made it safely to her car. She was not comfortable carrying Mace or a taser; Murphy realized how vulnerable she would be if something were to happen.
According to Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every 92 seconds and one in six American women are the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Influenced by the prominent sexual assault case People v. Turner, Murphy and Espe intentionally incorporated community into their business model. In the 2015 case at Stanford University, the victim was found by two passersby who were able to stop the attack and call for emergency services.
“They saved her, but it was just luck they were there; we want to make it so it wasn’t luck,” Murphy says.
The wearable button can be attached anywhere and is designed to be functional for everyday life, doubling as a grip and stand for your phone. The button synchs with the mobile app via Bluetooth to determine the user’s location. With just three quick taps, alerts for help are sent to the user’s customized safety circles, 911 monitoring or other members of the Rally community.
The app will also include educational features to help people understand the experience of assault victims.
“It’s good to have all of these reactive forces so that if something bad happens, use Rally, get help…[but] the end goal is to actually change the culture, so people don’t commit these acts in the first place,” Murphy says.
Murphy and Espe also want to change the culture surrounding reaching out for help. They hope Rally for Safety enables women to feel comfortable contacting friends or the police, regardless of why or how they’re in a dangerous situation; their priority is to make sure everyone is safe. If users feel uncomfortable calling the police on a date or at a party, they can set their safety circle to friends and family instead of calling 911.
In addition to initial product testing, Rally for Safety will run a 30-day pilot program at the University of Texas at Dallas to determine any changes and updates that need to be made. The wearable button will be available on Amazon for $25 and the app is set to release on both the Apple store and Android store by the end of this week.
“Our ultimate goal is to make sure people are safe and start to change the culture and create a shift into personal safety,” Murphy says. “That’s our mission, that’s our goal and what we intend to do.”