Fighting crime with jewelry

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Creating crime-fighting jewelry wasn't in Jeff Axup's plan until he was assaulted.

"It's a traumatic experience. I mean I was just punched a few times and things like that, but you know it makes you feel a lot less safe, and you realize how fast things can happen to you," said Axup.

He saw the need to get help quickly and got to work. He's the CEO of Sense6 -- one of two Bay Area companies creating jewelry with security features.

"In under a second, I can get multiple people understanding that something has gone really wrong, and where to come find me," said Axup.

He calls the invention the Artemis Module. It's a bluetooth device that snaps on to jewelry.

"A lot of wearables don't really focus on the fashion side of it, and they don't really focus on the female market. And so we're building something that's more about the fashion and less about the technology," he said.

The idea is gaining popularity. Deepa Sood launched her company Cuff in February and says the pre-order sales for the year exceeded their goal in one week.

"We get emails from people every day that say thank you for giving security, dignity," said Sood.

The technology works like this. You're in a situation and need help. You press a button hidden on the bracelet or necklace. A text alert is sent to your loved ones. The button also activates a small microphone and lets security monitors hear everything that's happening in real time.

"They get your location as well as a tracker of your location, so if you move from the time they get your message to the time they can get you help they know exactly where you've gone," said Sood.

Both Cuff and the Artemis Module can be taken out and slipped into other pieces in the collection, so you don't have to wear the same thing every day.

"There seems to be this consensus that certain people don't deserve good design and we very much don't agree," said Sood.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says the technology fills a need, but like GPS trackers for hikers the jewelry could create new problems.

"Many times we get false alarms, and there's a lot of effort and labor put into these false alarms, and I want to make sure we work through those kinks," said Mims.

Both companies are taking pre-orders now. Cuff's first line is due this fall and Sense6 is kicking off an online campaign to raise money for production.

"It's really just the beginning," said Sood.

A fashionable first line of defense, fighting crime one necklace at a time.

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