McCoy & Hiestand Attorneys at Law

By: Jared Smith

If you’re like me, you love this time of year. It’s the time of year that tech gadgets of yesteryear go on sale and the gadgets of tomorrow make their debut on store shelves. While many of these gadgets are geared towards entertainment and luxury, increasingly tech gadgets are being developed to help make people safer in the event of emergency or the unexpected.  Listed below are three practical, highly rated, reviewed and recommended devices, currently available for purchase, that aim to make us safer:

Ring Doorbell

Ring doorbell is a handy device that replaces the traditional doorbell with a doorbell/video camera that allows homeowners a view of the person ringing the bell without the homeowner having to answer the door. This ensures the homeowner’s safety by preventing them from opening the door to unwanted intruders and also serves to deter would-be burglars from forcing entry into a home they observe is being monitored by camera.  What makes Ring doorbell exceptionally nifty is that when the camera is triggered either by the pressing of its button or upon motion detection, an alert to send out to the homeowners and a video feed can be viewed from a connected phone, tablet, or screen-enabled Alexa device.  Further, Ring doorbell allows homeowners to speak to visitors from remote locations through their phones or tablets giving the impression that they are, in fact, home at the time.  Ring doorbell can either be hardwired like a traditional doorbell or operated with rechargeable battery.  Included with purchase is a lifetime theft protection warranty that guarantees the doorbell will be replaced free of charge if it gets stolen.  At $99 per unit and the security that Ring doorbell provides, the price is easily justifiable.

FiLIP

The FiLIP is a smartwatch for kids too young to be given a cell phone that allows families to stay connected and parents to “supervise” as best they can from a distance.  Parents can program five phone numbers into the smartwatch their child can call whenever needed.  Additionally, the FiLIP serves to protect its wearer  in three unique ways: first, the FiLIP has integrated GPS, GSM & WiFi to allow parents and/or caregivers to locate their child using the most accurate location information possible both indoors and out; second, the FiLIP has an integrated SOS/Emergency button that when pressed triggers a call to the primary account holder and all trusted contacts registered to the FiLIP smartwatch; lastly, the FiLIP allows caregivers to set a geo-fence (referred to as “SafeZones” by the makers of FiLIP) within which the child is expected to be at all times.  If ever the child breaches the parameters of the set SafeZone, a notification is sent to the caregiver’s smartphone, alerting them of the potential that their loved one may be at risk of danger. The FiLIP can be purchased at www.myfilip.com

Hip’Air

French company “Helite”, which specializes in airbag technology built into clothes for skiers, motorcyclists and horse riders has recently brought to market what may prove to be its most practical and potentially lifesaving device to date.  It’s so practical, in fact, that many may wonder why such a device hadn’t been brought to market sooner.  The Hip’Air is essentially a wearable airbag belt that deploys when it senses its wearer has begun to fall.  The aim is to protect the elderly against hip fractures and other damage caused by potentially life-threatening falls.  Helite has been marketing the device to nursing home companies in France and plans to begin selling the device in the United States beginning in November of 2018. The device currently retails at approximately $800 and can be purchased individually on Helite’s website at: www.senior.helite.com

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