Over the last few years, colourful fitness trackers have been appearing on more and more people’s wrists. Many individuals – young or old, male or female – seem to be keen to keep tabs on their exercise and diet, and user-friendly devices can help us all make healthier choices.
I’m one of those people, and have been in the world of fitness tracking for over a year. My Jawbone Up starts yelling at me if I’ve been stationary for too long (an ever-present threat in the deadline-filled world of journalism), and encourages me to meet me 10,000 steps a day.
But while the summer months are a wonderful time to clock up an evening run, the winter makes this a bit riskier. It’s dark, making it all-too-easy to close the curtains and stay indoors.
Enter Run Angel. This new wearable is aimed at keeping runners safe. While it’s targeted at women, there’s no reason at all why men couldn’t use it too. Kudos must be given to Run Angel here for making the device black, not pink and sparkly. While the device isn’t anything particularly special from an aesthetic point of view, it’s functional and certainly no worse than other wearables.
All you do is download the free Run Angel app, then set up your profile. Next, you invite up to three people to be your ‘guardian angels’. Once you’ve done that, just turn on the Run Angel and tap the ‘connect’ button on the app to pair the device with your phone via Bluetooth.
If you’re out on a run and you need to alert someone in an emergency, you simply hold down the central button. The device will then emit a high-pitched 120dB siren, which the Run Angel team have specifically tuned to be more detectable by human ears. That they’ve managed to do this on such a small and lightweight device is pretty impressive, as it really is loud. This siren will hopefully deter an attacker or alert people nearby to your presence, while your date, time and whereabouts will be sent via text and email to your nominated guardians. Alternatively, you can trigger remotely via the app.
I have to say, I was initially worried about how accurate the location would be. I live on a new build estate in Bristol, and Google Maps and sat-navs struggle to find us. But once I’d triggered the device, my husband received the update promptly via email and text with a link to my location. However, he did say that the wording on the message (see pic below) would send him into a blind panic, and could be changed to ‘alarm activated’.
Perhaps my only reservation about the device is that it has to be in close proximity to your phone, in order to give your location. Those who don’t like running with their phones might be put off by this. However, for £85, the device (which is manufactured in the UK and Ireland) is reasonable. And while it’s aimed at runners, it’s not limited to them – anyone who wants to feel a little safer while out and about could certainly use it.
To find out more, visit runangel.com