New wearable technology may come to replace self-defense products like mace and pepper spray. Athena is not yet to market, but the device is already grabbing headlines around the globe for its ease of use and ability to help thwart an attack.
Athena’s creator, Yasmine Mustafa was one of many tech entrepreneurs who showcased their ideas at last week’s Delaware Innovation Week in Wilmington. Mustafa, the CEO and co-founder of ROAR for Good, described Athena as a fashionable, coin-sized “smart” necklace that sends an alarm instantly to key friends and family when a woman is under assault.
The device can also attach to clothing or accessories and can even send distress messages to friends without triggering the alarm. “Every two minutes, a woman is attacked in America,” she said. “And the current products out there weren’t really helping women avoid being assaulted.”
Athena is part of a wave of next generation wearable technology, which also includes things like augmented reality devices and adaptive apparel for people with disabilities — innovations which were unveiled at the Tech2gether portion of Delaware Innovation Week.
“Wilmington is in the middle of redefining itself,” said event planner Ryan Harrington, with Wilmington’s 1313 Innovation, which presented Tech2gether at World Cafe Live in Wilmington. “We are really starting to see the makings of a robust tech scene here in Delaware,” he said.
Other mini-presentations throughout the week included the Delaware TechHire Initiative, the influence of ‘big data,’ #Failfest — featuring unapologetic speakers who learned from failure, and the Future of Digital Marketing. The conference was a resource for emerging technology entrepreneurs and even more seasoned techies looking to refine their strategies.
“There are a bunch of groups — 1313 Innovation, Coin Loft, Horn Program for Entrepreneurship, just to name a few — and our goal is to start building critical mass. But we need more people to take leaps into technology and entrepreneurship here in Wilmington,” said Harrington.