New jewelry to include hidden crime-fighting tools

By Sean Lavin, Special Projects Producer, slavin@wkmg.com
Published On: May 27 2014 11:15:00 PM EDT
Updated On: May 28 2014 06:07:52 AM EDT

It sounds like something out of a spy movie: jewelry is being made with special hidden technology to help keep you safe.

ORLANDO, Fla. -

It sounds like something out of a spy movie: jewelry is being made with special hidden technology to help keep you safe.

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Companies are creating fashionable gadgets that will sound the alarm if you're in trouble, and even record sound and video that can be used as evidence later.

Rachel Frederick touts her bracelet with a special chip that can warn family or friends if she's in trouble.

"It's very Wonder Woman-like," Frederick said. "You press your cuff and an alert goes out to the people you designate as your first responders in our app and they get your location in case of an emergency."

By including functions designed to keep you safe, these wearable pieces of technology take things a step further than the traditional wearable tech that have already become popular for fitness.

A hair clip, made by First Sign, contains sensors designed to detect a physical attack and send for help.

"The Smart Clip will know the difference between impacts associated with violent crimes and impacts from every day usage," said Rachel Emanuele, the company's co-founder. "Anything that's your normal routine won't set off the alarm. But anything associated with the violent crimes will."

In addition to sounding the alarm, the smart clip will also collect data that can help in a criminal investigation, by activating your phone's GPS, camera and microphone.

"Our goal is to identify, deter, apprehend and prosecute attackers," Emanuele said.

The products don't need a charge to work, but you do need a smart phone -- and signal.

"The way that they work is, they work over low energy Bluetooth," said CNET editor Brian Tong. "They still depend on your phone to send out some sort of signal or communication. So if you're in a location where you don't have a signal, it's just not going to help you."

Tong believes that since the wearable security products are so new, the jury is still out on whether they will catch on.

"They're going to get better," Tong said. "There's going to be a point where we can start integrating them into the systems like 911 or public services. But they're still so new. How much technology people are willing to wear and actually purchase has still yet to figure itself out."

But even with wearable security devices, experts say there's no substitute for common sense when it comes to safety.

"As a user you can't depend on technology to keep you safe," Tong said. "It sometimes comes down to a low-tech solution. You have to be aware of your surroundings."

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