Smashing though a $100,000 funding goal on Indiegogo in less than two days, the Defender is a pepper spray device with a built-in digital camera that captures an image of the person being sprayed. Immediately connecting to your iOS or Android smartphone over Bluetooth, the attacker’s image is forwarded along to a 24/7 monitoring center along with the GPS location of the smartphone. According to the project details, this monitoring center relays the user’s location and the image of the attacker to the local police department in order to dispatch the authorities right away.
In addition to police assistance, a second button can be pushed on the Defender to request medical assistance in case of a serious attack. Adding an additional layer of security on top of the monitoring service, text, and email notifications can be fired off to a preset group of people picked out by the user. This feature would help alert friends and family members if the user is under attack.
Beyond the blast of pepper spray that’s fired into the eyes of the attacker, the Defender also includes a speaker that announces that the attacker’s photo and GPS coordinates of the attack have been sent to the authorities.
The built-in speaker also sounds a loud siren alarm in order to attract attention from nearby pedestrians. Regarding picture quality, the camera fires off a bright flash prior to taking the picture in order to get a clear image at night.
According to the project details, the device has been in the works for the last two years and the team is ready to start manufacturing. At the moment, early adopters can invest in the product between $160 to $180 and that includes a full year of monitoring. After that, Defender users will have to pay between $15 to $20 a month to continue the monitoring service. The creators of the device are estimating a December 2014 launch window. If interested, be aware that many crowdfunded projects miss the projected shipping deadline by weeks or even months due to unforeseen manufacturing issues.