New emergency notification system doubles as elegant jewelry

San Antonio-based Wisewear offers tasteful smart devices with safety features

By Leslie Mouton - Anchor

SAN ANTONIO - Sofia Zapatero, 13, is headed back to school with a new backpack, new clothes and a shiny new silver bracelet.

“I really like it, because it’s fashionable, it’s really cute, it goes with pretty much all of my clothes and that’s a big thumbs up for me,” Zapatero said.

But it’s much more than a fashion statement, it’s an emergency notification system called Wisewear. The founder of the San Antonio company is proud of the product they created.

“This was built for women’s safety,” Gerald Wilmink of Wisewear said.

Wisewear is a line of bracelets embedded with safety features that can alert someone in case of an emergency.

“All she has to do is a quick flip of her wrist, which initiates the emergency beacon, then tap the center button three times.

Emergency contacts who have been previously set up in the app on her phone are immediately notified with a text message that she is in trouble and her exact coordinates are sent to their phones, " Wilmink said.

It also turns on her speaker on her phone, so contacts can hear what is happening.

It makes Sophia feel safer when she’s out and about, walking alone, or even out with her friends.

"If I ever feel I need help, if I am in distress, I can press this button three times and it will alert my emergency contacts. I think it’s a really neat feature," Zapatero said.

The signal has a range of 50 feet, so the person’s phone does not have to be in their hand for it to work.

But the bracelets aren’t just for kids. Adults, male and female, are buying them too, and for more than emergency notifications. Wisewear also tracks physical health, will send alerts from your calendar and much more.

"You can set it all, text message, phone calls, emails. We are going to build it so when you get calls from specific people it make a specific kind of haptic vibration so when your bracelet vibrates, you will know if you need to look at your phone right away, " Wilmink said.

Unlike other devices on the market, Wisewear is disguised as jewelry. There are several different designs to choose from.

From a simple silver bracelet, to an elegant gold or jeweled one, there is a design for every taste, and they are making more every month. The product is trademarked and patented, because unlike other smart devices, Wisewear can transmit a Bluetooth signal through metal.

"A lot of technology in the smart space do just sensing, ours is actually wise and does predictions. So it actually provides an experience at a high level of understanding," Wilmink said. For Sophia’s mom, it provides peace of mind.

"It gives me a sense of security that if Sophia is at the movies, volleyball practice or where ever she is, her father and I are only a text away," Jessica Zapatero said.

The cost for Wisewear is between $299 and $345 depending on the style.

For more information you can visit their website at www.wisewear.com.

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