Anu and Naveen Jain announced Leaf Wearables as the grand prize winner of the $1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE at the United Nations in New York City.
Entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Anu and Naveen Jain launched a million-dollar prize using the XPRIZE platform, the global leader in designing incentive competitions solving humanity’s grand challenges, to address the safety of women and girls by leveraging technology.
Launched in 2016, the idea behind this event is to challenged innovators around the world to create a device that can inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert if a woman is facing a threat and transmit information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds and cost under $40.
“Safety is a fundamental human right and shouldn’t be considered a luxury for women. It is the foundation in achieving gender equality,” said Anu Jain, philanthropist and founder of the Women’s Safety XPRIZE.
“We have been working tirelessly to solve the problem of safety using technology. It has been our mission to make one billion families safer,” said Leaf Wearables team leader Manik Mehta. “The Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE gave us the incentive and focus to continue to work toward our mission and make the world a safer place to live, learn and work.”
The competition challenged global innovators to develop an affordable, pragmatic device that provides users with the ability to rapidly respond to threats. A diverse range of 85 initial teams from 18 countries including, United States, India, Switzerland, Canada, Spain, Germany, China and United Arab Emirates, heeded the call. Among all competing teams were app developers, technology researchers, top-tier academic institutions and startups working toward safety for women worldwide.
The five finalist solutions were tested to see how the devices might fare across a variety of environments including high rise office buildings, college campuses, in public transit, and at home. Devices ranged from smart jewellery that can trigger emergency alerts to other wearables that detect physical gestures and speech recognition for emergency triggers. Most importantly, all of the solutions from the finalist teams work in areas of no cell connection.
Led by Manik Mehta, Delhi based Leaf Wearables is a smart safety device that sends emergency alerts with location details to a users’ guardians when they sense danger. SAFER Pro is a small chip that can ultimately be put into any device or jewellery with a discreet emergency alert button. When the alert is received, it additionally lets you record audio from the time of the alert.