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Wearsafe for Apple Watch puts peers in touch with loved ones in an emergency

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Sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes on college campuses — last year, only 20 percent of cases were reported to the police. It’s a problem without a silver bullet, but Wearsafe Tag, a wearable that makes it easy for users to alert friends and family members to troubling situations, aimed to ease the burden by making it easier to reach help. Now, the startup is simplifying things further with an app for the Apple Watch.

On Tuesday, Wearsafe Labs, the design firm behind Wearsafe, took the wraps off Wearsafe for Apple Watch. With the app installed, users can send a GPS location and continuous audio stream — including a recorded 60 seconds of audio from before the alert was sent — with a preselected network of family, friends, and co-workers.

Alerts in the form of emails and texts are delivered five seconds after the Wearsafe shortcut on the watchface or app is tapped, and the Apple Watch vibrates discretely each time someone in a Wearsafe user’s network views an alert. From there, trusted peers can get in touch with the person who made the call instantly, or relay Wearsafe’s real-time data to emergency responders.

“Wearsafe for Apple Watch is a natural evolution of the Wearsafe experience,” Dave Benoit, CEO and co-founder of Wearsafe, said in a statement. “Our mission is to make the world a safer place and break down the barriers to call for help. Apple Watch is just the first step in our plans to allow you — and the people you care about — to live more confidently every day, using the devices you’re most comfortable with.”

The new Wearsafe app works in conjunction — or independent of — the Wearsafe Tag. It’s compatible with all generations of the Apple Watch running on WatchOS 3 (and iOS 10 or newer) and installed just like any other Apple Watch app — through the iTunes App Store.

You will need a subscription to make use of it, though. Wearsafe’s cloud-based subscription service starts at $5 per month for 12 months.

The Wearsafe Tag, a fabric loop and ring attachment that’s slightly larger than a keychain or bracelet, is Bluetooth-based, waterproof, and works up to 200 feet away. It comes with a clip and ring attachment, lasts up to six months on a single charge, and retails for $30. It’s available free to new subscribers for a limited time.

Wearsafe aims to save 10 million lives over the next several years.

“Our goal is to make integrating Wearsafe into your life as easy as possible. The future of wearables is limitless, and we’ll continue to work to ensure that Wearsafe will work with whatever wearable you choose.”

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