Launched in 2016 by entrepreneurs and philanthropists Anu and Naveen Jain, the competition challenged innovators around the world to create a device costing under $40 that can inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert when a woman is facing a threat and transmit information to a network of community responders. The winner of the $1 million grand prize is New Delhi-based Leaf Wearables, which created SAFER Pro, a smart safety device that sends an emergency alert with location details to a user's guardians when she senses danger and also records audio from the moment the alert is triggered.
The other finalists were Artemis (Lausanne, Switzerland), which is developing a device that can trigger an alert by a gesture or by seamlessly tracking a user's emotional threat levels; Nimb and SafeTrek (Los Altos, California and St. Louis), which are developing a device that enables users to call for professional emergency services with the touch of a thumb; Saffron (Bellevue, Washington, and Tsinghua, China), which is developing wearable sensors and machine learning algorithms to create inconspicuous technologies that improve the safety and well-being of women; and Soterra (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania), which used a combination of global positioning services, cellular data, and Bluetooth to build a versatile, reliable, and affordable network that connects women to emergency support systems.
"Safety is a fundamental human right and shouldn't be considered a luxury for women. It is the foundation in achieving gender equality," said Women's Safety XPRIZE co-founder Anu Jain. "With so many advances in innovation and technology today, it was unacceptable to us that we didn't have a solution to help curb this sexual assault pandemic. We congratulate the winning team and thank all the teams that poured their heart and soul into finding innovative solutions to move humanity forward."