Technology is evolving at breakneck speeds, with new devices, faster computing capabilities, and more options available than ever. Jobs exist today that were the mere speculations of science fiction stories less than a generation ago, and it’s almost impossible to know what progress will be made in the next five, ten, or even twenty years.
While all this new technology brings new safety concerns, it also is helping us to stay safer in many ways, as well. New methods of monitoring our homes, helping people who are hurt or lost, and alerting professionals who can help in an emergency are just some of the ways technology is helping us all stay a little safer.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some interesting companies and products that are being created with an eye to safety. (Note that ConsumerSafety.org does not endorse or guarantee the claims made by any of these companies or products.)
Kids & Family
SimpliSafe is a wireless home security system that allows you to take control of your system from the palm of your hand with your smart phone. SimpliSafe not only gives you a peace of mind knowing your home is protected from the outside, but it also provides sensors to let you know if off-limit rooms or cabinets are accessed by young ones at home.
Cell Control is a safe driving solution that prevents distracted driving. So whether it’s a young adult texting and using social media while behind the wheel or a parent making sure they’re not using their phone with a child in the backseat, this app disables the use of text, email, social media apps, camera, and more. Settings allow certain calls to come through and 911 can always be dialed.
Mobicip allows parents to remotely monitor internet and app usage on all devices in the home. The app allows parents to set restrictions, time limits, monitor browsing history, set custom filters, and more. This app allows users to enjoy time on their phones and tablets while giving parents peace of mind knowing that they’re doing so safely.
Whistle is a GPS location tracker for your pets. The focus is on cats and dogs. It allows you to track your animal’s exact location with a smartphone app, and can alert you when they leave their “safe zone”. For owners with outdoor animals this can provide a sense of security.
Nest Protect is a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that sends you text updates and alerts when levels are high or when the batteries are low. Most alarms simply beep in an emergency, so if an animal is home alone they will be unsafe. With a text alert, an owner can ensure the problem is fixed and their animal at home is safe, even when they themselves aren’t home.
HomeAgain is a pet microchip and monitoring platform. A microchip is an ID with a scanner the size of a piece of rice, that’s scannable if the animal is lost. HomeAgain helps you find a vet in your area who can perform the microchip procedure (often done in conjunction with spaying/neutering). The app also allows you to track the status of other lost animals in your area and help out.
Nucleus is a home intercom system that allows you to check in on an elderly family member at any time, whether they live at home or in a nursing home. The interface is extremely simple and only requires the press of a button so it’s perfect for the elderly who might find some technology to be confusing.
Lively Mobile is a wireless device by GreatCall that allows users to be instantly connected to certified response agents who can assist them medically (dispatching 911, locating them, etc). This is a useful safety feature because the elderly often cannot get up if they fall and injure themselves.
TabSafe is a medication management system. It has many features, like reminding users when to take their medication, alerting caregivers when a medication is missed, tracking adherence and more. With over 87% of adults aged 62 and over taking at least one prescription medication, and five or more used by 36%, this device can keep seniors from making a harmful mistake by over or under-dosing.