Armed for safety: Crimefighting accessories can help keep you sa - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Armed for safety: Crimefighting accessories can help keep you safe


SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) -- Imagine wearing a bracelet that can make you feel safer. Startup companies are starting to create fashionable accessories that will sound an alarm if you find yourself in trouble.

For Rachel Fredrick, her jewelry is also her secret weapon against crime.

“It's very Wonder Woman like,” she said.

Hidden under her bracelet is a computer chip that can be activated by a simple touch and send an alert to family or friends. The device is made by the Cuff company.

“You press your cuff and an alert goes out to the people you designate as your first responders in our app and they get your location in case of emergency,” said Cuff founder Deepa Sood.

While wearable technology is becoming popular online, these security devices are specifically designed to help keep us safe.

A small, round "pod" made by First Sign is designed to be worn in a head band. It can automatically detect a physical assault and send a signal for help.

“Anything that's part of your normal routine won't set off the alarm, but anything associated with a violent crime will,” according to First Sign co-founder Rachel Emanuele.

The pod can also send a trigger to your smart phone to activate its GPS, video camera, and microphone, which can be used later as evidence.

“Our goal is to identify, deter, apprehend, and prosecute attackers,” said Emanuele.

The products don't require a charge to work, but you do need to have a nearby smart phone and cell signal, according to CNET senior editor Brian Tong.

“The way that they work is, they work over low energy Bluetooth,” said Tong. “They still depend on your phone to send out some sort of signal or communication.”

But experts say even with wearable security devices, there is no substitute for common sense when it comes to safety.

“As a user you can't depend on technology to keep you safe. It sometimes comes down to a low-tech solution. You have to be aware of your surroundings,” said Tong.

Still, consumers say they are happy to wear something that is both fashionable and functional.

“It looks great and it gives me a sense of security,” said customer Rachel Fredrick.

The Cuff bracelet jewelry packages range from $30 to $200 online. The First Sign "Pod" costs $110 with a monthly monitoring fee of $5.

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