The product has started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and has already raised almost 5 times its initial goal of $40,000 with still 18 days to go. Backers can get Athena for $75 through their campaign before they officially launch it at a price of $99.
In an interview with Mashable, project co-founder Yasmine Mustafa said the inspiration for the device came to her during a backpacking trip she went on alone across South America.
“As amazing as [the trip] was…literally everywhere I went I would hear of a time where a woman had been attacked.” When she came back, a nearby neighbor had gone outside to read her meter when she was attacked, brutally beaten and sexually assaulted. “When I read the news story the next day, that’s when the idea for ROAR was born,” she told the website.
The device has a small Bluetooth chip that should be paired with a smartphone to send text messages. The alarm will go off at the touch of the button and can only be shut off by the user herself. The device also has a ‘SilentROAR’ function, which could be used in a domestic violence situation and doesn’t trigger the alarm, but still sends the location of the user to their emergency contacts.
The company also hopes to add new features to Athena, like having the device contact the police and insert it directly into clothing.