Kenny Kelley explains the importance of safety equipment on college campuses
BY DANA NICKEL EDITOR IN CHIEF
Many universities across the U.S. work hard to fight against sexual violence on their campuses. There are several options that university officials will recommend to freshman students moving into residence halls for the first time.
The CEO of Silent Beacon, Kenny Kelley, hopes that his new technology can help battle against sexual violence on campuses as well.
According to the company’s website, Silent Beacon is a “wearable, wireless device that connects to smartphones, tablets and other Bluetooth devices.”
Kelley said that he got the idea for this device after he was in a bad motorcycle accident. After it happened, he was unable to reach his phone to call for help.
“I was just sitting on the side of the road, and I couldn’t get [to my phone],” Kelley recalled. “I had my helmet on and my gloves one. I was hurt so I couldn’t physically take [my equipment] off, and I thought, ‘I have all this technology literally inches away from me and I can’t use any of it.’”
Kelley explained that his accident and inability to call for help afterwards gave him the idea of his device’s design.
Kelley described the Silent Beacon as a small device that can sends help to its user at a simple push of a button.
The device also acts as a sort of Panic Button, radiating loud noises if pressed.
The Silent Beacon also as well as automatically contacts emergency services and up to seven of the user’s selected emergency contacts. Once contacted, to it notifies them of the user’s current location and that they user is are in need of immediate help.
Kelley said that some have compared his device to the well-known panic button for senior citizens, Life Alert. He explained that Life Alert only calls emergency services, not emergency contacts as well..
The device also comes through a free app that will connect the user’s phone to their device. Though to be working accurately, the user’s phone needs to be less than 200 feet away from the device for accurate location tracking. Kelley also explained that as time goes on and new technology develops, the Silent Beacon will be upgraded and redistributed.
Kelley said he felt it was important for students to know there are options for technological protection if they feel unsafe.