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INTERVIEW: Safety is a basic human right says South African Safelet distributor

September 3, 2019 • Security, Southern Africa, Top Stories

INTERVIEW_ Safety is a basic human right says South Africa Safelet distributor

Using the Safelet, wearers’ can quickly activate an alarm and send out an SOS with location to friends and family.

The Safelet is a personal safety bracelet that allows wearers to feel secure in the knowledge that their guardians are one alert away. This light-weight accessory is taking the international safety community by storm thanks to its efficient and safe alert system.

IT News Africa’s Jenna Cook had the opportunity to chat with Simone Da Silva, Director of Silva Brands South Africa. Da Silva and her team are in the process of bringing these devices to the country. Here’s what transpired:

What inspired you and your team to venture down the tech for safety path, and
ultimately discover the ‘Safelet’?
We originally began a product import and distribution business that mainly focused on fashion accessories. We knew we wanted to grow but hadn’t found a product that inspired us.

A while back, I had a personal experience where I was held up on the highway and left stranded until a passer-by eventually stopped to help me which in itself was very traumatic. If I could have alerted loved ones sooner of my then situation, it could have made a world of difference.

When I came across the Safelet, I knew that it was a product that added value and comfort to everyday life in South Africa. We always feel safer when we are not alone and the Safelet allows us that security constantly.

How exactly does the Safelet work? 
Safelet is a bracelet that works via a Bluetooth connection to the users’ cellphone.

This is how to set up a Safelet:

1. Install the Safelet App – free from either Google Play or the App Store.

2. Use the App to connect the Safety bracelet with a smartphone

3. Invite Friends and Family to become Guardians

In case of an emergency:

1. Push the Safety bracelet

2. Guardians receive an Alarm signal

3. They can see the location

4. Guardians can listen to a real-time Sound Recording of the wearers’ surroundings

5. Coordinate response

Who will be notified if there’s an emergency and does this person also need to
own a Safelet?
The Guardian Network is a selection of people chosen only by the wearer. Guardians do not need to own a Safelet but they do need to download the free app in order to access the wearers’ alerts. Wearers’ are able to remove or re-invite existing guardians at any time.

Wearers’ are also able to extend this alert should they choose to – that way, should there be an emergency when a Safelet alarm is activated, any member of the Safelet Community that are within a 200m distance to the alarm will receive an alert.

What inspired the ambient sound recording feature? Who has access to the recording
after an incident takes place?
The sound recording was initially inspired by domestic violence cases where the ‘he said/she said’ mentality can be difficult to overrule without proof. These recordings are stored by all the wearers’ private guardians, so even if the phone is destroyed the recording that took place prior will still be accessible.

Where can consumers buy the Safelet? How has embedded technology influenced the
price?
People can buy the Safelet directly from our website (www.safelet.co.za) at R 999. We have tried to keep the cost as effective as possible, the app is completely free for download.

In terms of your target audience, who do you want to see as part of the guardian
network?
We want to create a large community of members who are part of our Guardian Network. Community Safety is our main aim and we do not want to shut out any citizens as we all feel vulnerable.

At the end of the day, we believe that there is safety in numbers and if there were always people nearby to help – what a difference we could make.

Are consumers able to send emergency alerts to security (for example, the police) or
emergency healthcare services (for example, ER 24)? Are these services a part of the
Guardian network?
Currently to keep the app free from any subscription costs the alert notifies only the wearers’ direct Guardian Network, however, the guardians are then able to call emergency services directly from the app if required.

Does the consumers’ location setting need to be turned on in order to locate them?
The wearers’ location permissions for the Safelet app do need to be switched on in order for them to be tracked accurately.

What is your company’s ultimate goal when it comes to the Safelet?
Our ultimate goal is creating a Safety network for all. We believe the feeling of Safety is a basic human right and we intend to outreach that as far as possible.

By Jenna Cook

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