Byravee Iyer
Apr 29, 2014

JWT Singapore develops wearable tech to fend off sexual assault

SINGAPORE – JWT Singapore and women’s rights organisation Aware have launched the Guardian Angel, a device that helps women combat harassment and alert their emergency contacts.

JWT Singapore and women’s rights organisation Aware have launched the Guardian Angel
JWT Singapore and women’s rights organisation Aware have launched the Guardian Angel

Designed in the shape of a halo, Guardian Angel can be worn as a necklace or a bracelet. A woman can trigger a call to her own phone during an uncomfortable moment by clicking on the pendent.  If she senses a threat to her personal safety, she can hold the button for three seconds to send an SOS text message to a designated number. The text message provides coordinates and a Google Map link to her location.

A spokesperson for the agency said Chance discussions with Aware and JWT triggered the development of the technology.

“Aware believes in the rights of women to participate in social and public spaces free from harassment and violence,” says Corinna Lim, Executive director at Aware. “But especially in a workplace or social scenario, there can be social penalties for confronting harassers directly. The Guardian Angel can help to defuse some harassment situations. The emergency contact function also empowers women to more easily seek help in cases of serious threat.”

Prevention of sexual assault is high on the agenda of the Singapore government. It recently passed an anti-harassment law to augment existing legislation.

The technology was developed in partnership with Curiouslab and can be used anywhere in the world. The text message functionality is accessible to anyone, regardless of the kind of phone one uses. It is currently sold online by Singaporean retailer My Room Retail. The Guardian Angel retails at US$120 with 10 per cent of each sale going to Aware.

“With today’s technology, nothing is impossible [if] you try. As a woman, I felt we had to give our best to not just raise awareness about the issue but to try to stop it,” said Valerie Cheng, chief creative officer of JWT Singapore.

 

 

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