NEW YORK – The Leaf Wearables have won the $1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE, presented by Indian American entrepreneurs and philanthropists Anu and Naveen Jain at the UN, on Wednesday.
Leaf Wearables, from New Delhi, India, invented the product SAFER Pro; 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, costing under $40, that can ultimately be put into any device or jewelry with a discreet emergency alert button and when the alert is received, it additionally lets you record audio from the time of the alert.
“We have been working tirelessly to solve the problem of safety using technology. It has been our mission to make one billion families safer. 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,” said Manik Mehta the leader of the team Leaf Wearables.
The couple 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.
“Safety is a fundamental human right and shouldn’t be considered a luxury for women. It is the foundation in achieving gender equality. 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,” Anu said.
“Women’s safety is not just a third world problem; we face it every day in our own country and on our college campuses. It’s not a red state problem or a blue state problem but a national problem. We are thrilled to announce the winning solution and are confident that all the teams that competed will provide many options and tools to millions of communities around the world to ensure the safety of its members,” said Naveen.
“Congratulations to Anu and Naveen Jain for implementing their vision and accelerating an important breakthrough in the world. It was a joy to leverage their philanthropy and incentivize the crowd to transform personal and community safety across the world,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, founder and CEO of XPRIZE.
“I wish to also congratulate Leaf Wearables and all of the teams who competed in the Women’s Safety XPRIZE. Watching the winning solution in action in communities and college campuses helped us to demonstrate that breakthrough solutions are borderless and exponential technology can help aid humanity in our most challenging global issues like universal safety,” he added.
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 them were app developers, technology researchers, top-tier academic institutions and startups.
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.
Additional finalists include:
- Artemis (Lausanne, Switzerland) – Led by Dr. Nicee Srivastava, Artemis is developing a device that can be used to trigger an alert not just by a gesture, but also by seamlessly tracking emotional threat levels.
- Nimb & SafeTrek (Los Altos, CA and St. Louis, MO, United States) – Led by Leo Bereschanskiy and Nick Droege, Nimb collaborates with SafeTrek to provide their customers an option to call for professional emergency services with just a touch of the thumb. The company was founded in response to rising concerns about safety on and off campus. Both teams work together to make the world a safer place.
- Saffron (Bellevue, WA, United States; Tsinghua, China) – Led by Nicholas Becker, Saffron is a collaboration between the University of Washington and Tsinghua University through the Global Innovation eXchange (GIX), focused on developing wearable sensors and machine learning algorithms to create inconspicuous technologies that improve the safety and well-being of women around the world.
- Soterra (Bethlehem, PA, United States) – Led by Lena McDonnell, Soterra used a combination of global positioning services, cellular data and bluetooth to build a versatile, reliable and affordable network to connect women to emergency support systems.