What if getting out of an uncomfortable conversation was as easy as pressing a button?
The makers of The Guardian Angel device are betting on it. The silver pendant can be worn as a necklace or a bracelet and features a secret call button on the underside, so that any woman who would prefer to step away from an overly forward conversation at a bar or a bus stop just has to press the button. The pendant immediately sends a signal to her phone, faking a call via a pre-downloaded app.
If the situation becomes dangerous, you can hold down the button to send a message to a friend with your exact GPS coordinates attached.
The Guardian Angel is part of a small but growing trend in wearable technology that’s dedicated to keeping women safe and connected when traveling alone. I’ve written about the fully funded Indiegogo project for the First Sign Hair Clip, an accessory that connects with your phone to collect sound and photo evidence and notify first responders in the case of a violent attack. I also profiled Cuff, a company that provides a line of nine trendy accessories to which you can attach a small tracking device that pings people with your location during times of need. The Guardian Angel strikes a nice balance between the two: It’s not so tricked out that it will detect a violent attack for you (like the First Sign Hair Clip), but it does more than Cuff to preemptively intervene in a situation before it becomes dangerous.
In terms of wearability (read: whether or not it’s fug), the sterling silver-coated device is legions above the First Sign Hair clip, but not quite as cool as the Cuff wear. It seems like it’d be awkward to wear as a pendant but would most definitely work as a bracelet, even if it is only something you slip on at a bar or on a late walk home.
The product itself was designed by an ad agency called JWT Singapore, which was tasked with creating a campaign to educate women about date rape. They took the project one step further with the Guardian Angel, hoping to nip any escalating social interactions in the bud.
“Some young women may not feel confident enough to tell a guy — especially one they know or think they may like, or is part of an extended social group — who’s starting to get drunk and too touchy to shove off,” JWT’s chief creative officer Valerie Cheng told Fast Company.
In past generations, the “fake phone call” came in the form of a watchful friend or even an app, but the Guardian Angel is by far a more subtle form of distraction — and in more dangerous situations, an accessory predators might not recognize as something they need to remove.
At its base price of $120, it comes with a 27-inch sterling silver chain. You can also buy a $60 silver bracelet or a $30 leather cord, which loop into the pendant nicely. The fact that the device is made out of silver definitely makes it pricier than other options, but if that’s what it takes to get women to wear them, then silver it shall be.