A modern-looking silicone bracelet fitted with mobile phone and GPS tracking could replace 'panic' buttons used by the elderly and other vulnerable groups. The Vevios bracelet's unique patented 'panic grip' means false alarms would be eliminated, says its designer. Jim Drury reports.
This simple bracelet could one day replace safety buttons used by the elderly in their homes. Hanne Pålsson designed it for her Master's thesis project at Lund University. The bracelet includes a built-in mobile phone and GPS system and doesn't require a base station. SOUNDBITE (English) HANNE PÅLSSON, CREATOR OF ALARM BRACELET, SAYING: "You activate it by using a new grip that I call the panic grip which we patented last summer and it turns red and then it means it's calling seven different pre-programmed telephone numbers of your own choice. When someone answers on the other side it turns green and then you know someone answered and that help is on the way.....it activates the microphone and speaker that's integrated into the bracelet. So the person on the other side can hear everything around the bracelet and you can talk directly, so it's on speakerphone.... SOUNDBITE (English) HANNE PÅLSSON, CREATOR OF ALARM BRACELET, SAYING: "Today's safety alarm has just one button that you press and it's two forces that you have to use to press against each other. It's taken directly from fire alarms on the wall, where you have to press the station area instead. And this this way of pushing is creating too much false alarms. Eighty percent of all alarms are false. So I made another grip. It's simpler to do, even if you are having probably gripping. And it also has two buttons instead of one. So then you don't accidentally press it." The device isn't just for use by the elderly. SOUNDBITE (English) HANNE PÅLSSON, CREATOR OF ALARM BRACELET, SAYING: "Because of its sleek and simple aesthetic you can also use it towards other vulnerable target groups, such as witness protection and crime prevention, kindergarten groups, people who work in extreme environments, like in forests. For extreme sports and things like that." Pålsson has launched a start-up to market the device, which she hopes will go on sale next year.