CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In the world of wearable technology, people are turning to tiny and discreet devices to keep themselves and their families safe during emergencies.
"In the back of my mind, I'm always worried that something bad will happen, says Emily Maambo, a Charlotte mother with two daughters.
Maambo does everything she can to protect her 8-year-old Juliana and her 11-year-old Margaret. Maambo believes they're too young to have cellphones, but she lets them wear a Tinitell. At first glance, it looks like a watch, but it’s really a cellphone and GPS locator.
"All you have to do is press the middle button and then it says a name," Maambo told NBC Charlotte. "After it says the name of the person she wants to call, she just hits call."
Her daughters, who use it to keep in contact with Maambo during after school activities, agree it’s easy to use.
"When I get there, I call my parents or my babysitter to say I'm there," said daughter Margaret. "I use it a lot because I go to my friend's house a lot."
The Tinitell works in conjunction with your smartphone and costs $149 to buy and about $10 per month to operate.
"It definitely helps my sense of security," says Maambo.
Kids aren’t the only ones who need protection. Walking alone at night can be scary-- especially for women.
Stiletto offers personal security with a custom look-- at a price. The charms, which start at $179, can transform any necklace or bracelet into a call for help with a simple press. A computer will talk to 911 for you. The makers are preparing for their first manufacturing run.
Kathy Roma could only use her voice when she was brutally attacked 15 years ago.
"He cut my throat, opened my stomach and stabbed me three times in my heart area. It happened in a safe neighborhood in the light of day 200 feet from a police station," she recalls.
Since the attack, she's spent years developing a ring with a hidden panic button that will alert police or anyone you designate. She's finally taking pre-orders on Nimb. Roma says it's faster than trying to find your phone, and it doesn’t require you to have a second hand free to operate it.
We also showed another wearable gadget called a Wearsafe Tag to Charlotte mom Neesh Staley. It works for men and women and attaches to almost anything. Like similar devices, it sends alerts to designated contacts, but what makes it unique is the live audio it sends from the scene. It also sends additional audio from the 60 seconds prior to activation.
Staley says she understands why such wearable safety technology is growing in popularity.
"Of course! You see all of the stuff that's going on in the news! Of course, of course. That is definitely something people need."
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