From the outside, the Nimb ring looks like a piece of costume jewelry you might get at a garage sale: big, chunky, cheap. But its bulk is really just a mask for its main function: acting as a discreet (“discreet”) storage space for a panic button. The underside of each ring is fitted with a button that, when pressed, can send an alert to a group of people selected in advance by the ring-wearer.
Here’s how it works: with the Nimb app, users can preset a “safety net” of family members, friends, or the police, who will receive an alert and the wearer’s location with the ring’s panic button is pressed. To send an alert, users must press the button for three seconds (if pressed accidentally, the alert can be canceled by entering a password in the app). Nimb’s app also has a chat feature, but I’m not sure how useful chatting would be if you’re in a situation where you’d need a panic button.
Nimb is just one of several smart accessories to claim that it can help prevent assault, but it’s difficult to imagine how useful it would be in reality. It’s unclear how law enforcement will receive notifications, or how police officers will parse the meaning of each notification. And, show of hands, who can actually imagine wearing this thing? If you don’t wear it every day it’s basically useless.
So far, the ring has raised around $31,000 of its $50,000 Kickstarter goal. A $75 pledge will get you one ring, in either black or white. If funded, Nimb plans to ship the rings sometime in the spring of next year.