When I first heard about the V.ALRT personal emergency alert device I immediately went to I’ve fallen and can’t get up. I figured it was just some newfangled version of those Life Alert medical bracelets and it turns out, it kind of is — and if you have elderly parents or a child with wanderlust (or of course, a medical condition), that’s actually a good thing.
Think of V.ALRT as a wearable panic button that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. It sends alerts to up to 3 designated emergency contacts by text, phone call or both if you’re in danger, lost, in need of help, or — yes — you’ve fallen and cannot get up.
All jokes aside, the notion of being connected to help when you need it is quite reassuring. The device itself, a small black disc that can be tucked into a bag or pocket, but it might be best to use the included accessories and wear it on your wrist like a fitness tracker, or as a pendant around your neck. That way, a lost backpack doesn’t mean a lost V.ALRT.
And as a parent, the wearable alert can also be an easy way to keep track of young ones wandering out of range at the mall, grocery store or park in lieu of a kid leash, should that not be your thing. (Editor’s note: It’s not our thing.)
The free app is not going to win any design awards, but it does connect your iPhone or Android phone to the device easily. With the push of the button (which is essentially the device itself), the V.ALRT sends a custom distress message to the emergency contacts’ smartphones detailing the GPS location, followed by phone calls to get you some help.
The best part is, there are no monthly fees to pay for any of this, besides the data plan you probably already have for your phone.
I do like that there’s a fall detection feature, and that you can track the device, should you have little kids who may tend to stray off on their own little adventures. The one issue: the smartphone tracking only works within Bluetooth range, so about 75 feet indoors, or 300 feet outdoors. In other words, still keep your kids close.
However the alerts can be sent anywhere. In fact I gave the device a try while out on my morning runs, pinging my sister in San Diego and my husband as my two emergency contact trial subjects. Of course they got advance warning that my Help. Out running and totally lost! was only a test. Let’s just say, it works just as it should, and it’s a comfort knowing that help really is only a push of a button away.