How many of the women you know - whether that’s your mom, your daughter, sister, girlfriend, or yourself - have felt unsafe while walking home alone?
Today, we live in a world where 1 in every 6 women will be raped in her lifetime, but calling for help while being discreet and staying safe in the situation is nearly impossible. Even harder is reporting assaults and being believed in court.
Four years ago, I was one of those women. Every day, people asked me why I couldn't have protected myself better, why I couldn't have called for more help, why I couldn't provide more "concrete" evidence. The answer? Because the tools and resources to make that possible either didn't exist, were ineffective, or were completely inaccessible. That's why I built Percy: to build a tool to ensure no woman has to ever be part of that traumatizing statistic ever again.
What it does
Percy is a fashionable smart ring with a mobile companion app that enables the wearer to discreetly either call for help, notify their contacts, record evidence of the encounter, and alert authorities of their location without even picking up their phone. Percy also makes filing police reports regarding incidents of sexual assault easy, fast, and secure while empowering women with evidence recorded through their ring and phone to back up their case. Within the app, the user can access various financial, legal, and mental health resources.
How we built it
During this hackathon, I worked creating a wireframe and fleshing out exactly what Percy would do and how it would work. After researching the various chips, technologies, and other moving parts I would need to bring Percy to life, I created a 3D render of the ring and put it all together into a slide deck to deliver the premise of the product even without a physical prototype (given my time and resource restraints!) I also set up and designed a website for Percy.
Challenges we ran into
Time: In order to create a fully synchronized app that could pair with a physical ring, I would need more time than this hackathon allowed. So instead, I focused on strengthening Percy's idea and the research behind it. Hopefully, if Percy succeeds at this hackathon, I will be able to continue my work.
Resources (for physical prototype): Similar to the time restraint, it is difficult to create a physical piece of hardware as detailed and complex as the Percy ring without manufacturing and designing specific chips, bands, etc. However, I hope to pursue Percy in the future and begin having those conversations with various manufacturers to bring a real prototype to life.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The design. Part of the problem Percy is addressing is a lack of fashionability, accessibility, and discreetness, especially since its target market is Gen Z/Millenials (college students). It was crucial that Percy was not just a working wearable, but a wearable people wanted to actually wear. I think this design accomplishes that!
What we learned
How to use Adobe XD and Fusion 360! I had very limited experience using both applications prior to this hackathon, but both proved to be crucial tools in visualizing all of my research and aspirations for this product.
What's next for Percy
Prototyping! As mentioned earlier, I want to start talking to various manufacturers about bringing Percy to life and dive deep into user research. I truly believe in this project, its mission, and its potential--I want to spend the next few months validating that potential with its ideal market.