It was a passion for a cause, and the cause was an important one — to keep women safe — that brought together five young engineering students from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi and Delhi Technical University to launch a smart jewelry startup, Leaf Wearables.
After the barbaric rape of a medical student in a moving bus in New Delhi in 2012, the five friends — Avinash Bansal, Ayush Banka, Chiraag Kapil, Manik Mehta and Paras Batra — took it upon themselves to find a solution to this grave problem of women’s safety.
They first started with a shock-inducing jacket, but soon realized that violent methods wouldn’t work. After numerous iterations, the team zeroed in on the idea of SAFER, which can be worn as a pendant or even a bracelet, and has an in-built panic button, which pairs with the SAFER app on the wearer’s mobile phone.
The user can double click SAFER in times of emergencies, which will trigger an alert to pre-selected people called guardians, who will then be able to track the user’s movement in real-time. The app, which is available on the Google Play Store and App Store, has to be synced to the jewelry.
Among other interesting features of the app is SaferWalk, a GPS function, where the network can track the user’s movement, and stay connected till the user reaches the destination. If there is no internet connection, text messaging can also be used.
SAFER also has a sound notifications feature, which ensures that their SAFER buzzes when they receive a call, email or a message.
The cost of the smart and fashionable jewelry varies between $25 and $75 and takes only 15 minutes to charge for a week of use.
The Leaf Wearables’ mission is to provide SAFER in the hands of 1 million families by the end of 2017, according to their website.
The company has won a host of awards, including the title of world champion at the 2014 Gitex Technology Week in Dubai and the 2015 Ericsson Innovation Award. The Government of India also recognized Leaf Wearables as one of the top 10 innovative startups of India in 2015 as part of its India Innovation Growth Program.