You can ask your smartphone to dial 911 hands-free, but what about in dangerous situations when you need to do it discretely? Grabbing your phone or smartwatch may be a little too obvious, but clicking your ring may do the trick.
Nimb is a wearable that does just that — it’s a smart ring that will alert specific contacts and local authorities with your GPS location in the event of an emergency. Just press and hold the button on the underside of the ring for three seconds and an alert will go out with your location. You can press it with just one hand, but thankfully it’s hard to press the button accidentally, Nimb co-founder Kathy Roma tells Digital Trends. It’s concealed in the ring’s design, and there’s a 20-second window that lets you cancel the alert just in case.
To cancel the alert, you need to use the Nimb app and enter your password — so not just anyone can cancel your alert. You can do this outside of the 20-second window, to let everyone know you’re alright.
“Just in case the attacker forces you to cancel the alert, you can use a special password for forced cancellation,” Roma said. “Your trusted contacts will immediately know that someone forced you to cancel the alert.”
Your location will be tracked in real-time, and there’s even an audio recording functionality built in that collects evidence through the user’s phone when an alert is triggered. Once an alert is sent out, your emergency contacts will be notified in a variety of different formats, depending on what you chose during the initial setup: texts, push notifications, vibrations, calls, and emails — contacts who also use Nimb will feel a vibration from the ring to let them know that someone is in danger.
What’s neat is that when you’re setting up Nimb for the first time, you can choose who you want your emergency contacts to be, and whether or not you want to include 911. If you do add 911 to the list, Nimb creates a robotic call option that goes to the closest 911 dispatch center based on your GPS coordinates. The message tells the operator the sender’s name, gender, and location.
One of your emergency contacts can also alert 911 via the Nimb app. The company is also working on a way to integrate the audio-recording feature into the 911 IT system, so that messages from Nimb are sent “directly to the 911 dashboard.”
Nimb isn’t exclusive to the U.S. in terms of reaching out to emergency services, as Roma says “there are several ways to make a reliable connection with existing institutions which provide public safety services. It will vary from country to country, and our job is to choose the best one: technology can do this already.”
The device isn’t just for contacting people in the event of an emergency — it also vibrates on your finger when you walk away from your phone. Unfortunately you will have to recharge your ring, but it’ll last for two weeks on a single charge.
The company is launching its Kickstarter campaign on June 21, and the ring will be available for as low as $75 — it’s retail price will cost $150. You’ll be able to get two Nimb rings for $150 as a special Kickstarter deal. You’ll also be able to choose from a wide range of colors and U.S. ring sizes.
Contacting emergency services is getting easier and easier — in the upcoming WatchOS 3 update, the Apple Watch will soon be able to prove useful in emergency situations as well, thanks to a new SOS function and a digital card with your emergency contact information. All you have to do is press and hold the side button to activate a countdown to call a local emergency number.