Entrepreneurs Anu and Naveen Jain who in 2016 launched a million-dollar XPRIZE safety challenge using the XPRIZE platform to address the safety of women announced that Safer by Leaf has won the grand prize.
The challenge asked innovators around the world to create a device with a transformative solution of ensuring women’s safety in the face of a threat. The winning technology solution was required to inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert within a network of community responder within 90 seconds, as well as cost less than $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. “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”
The competition drew in 85 initial teams from 18 countries, including the United States, India, Switzerland, Canada, Spain, Germany, and China. The competing teams brought together app developers, technology researchers, top-tier academic institutions and startups with a focus on women’s safety worldwide.
Five finalists were selected and all had their solutions tested in a range of environments, with all five solutions working in areas with no cell connection. Designs ranged from smart jewelry to wearables that react to hand gestures or speech recognition to trigger emergency alerts.
“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.
India-based Leaf Wearables’ created SAFER Pro, a smart safety device that sends emergency alerts with location details to users’ guardians when they sense danger. It is a small chip that can be put into any device or jewelry with a discreet emergency alert button that also lets the person record audio from the time of the alert.
“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,” said Naveen Jain, philanthropist and co-founder of the Women’s Safety XPRIZE in a press statement. “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.”
Anu and Naveen Jain are entrepreneurs committed to philanthropic work. Anu grew up in Jerusalem, before moving to the US to obtain her BS and MBA degree, while Naveen was raised in India and relocated to the US where he became a successful entrepreneur.