"An Irish couple have created a wearable personal safety device with audible alarm aimed at the female runner.
Ellen Caren and her husband David first came up with the idea for runangel after David returned home from a jog and shared an experience "that played on his mind".
"He was out running and a female runner passed him. He thought nothing of it until a man knocked into him at speed and turned on his tail and ran in the opposite direction," Ms Caren told independent.ie.
"He realised that the man - who wasn't wearing any jogging gear - was actually in pursuit of the woman until he bumped into David."
Ellen, who previously worked in marketing and retail, and David, who has a background in music, have devoted the last three years developing a prototype that was effective but still aesthetically pleasing.
A slim black watch-like product, the runangel hardware retails at €99 and the app that it pairs with is available to download free on all mobile devices.
Those on the 'guardian network' of the owner of the device do not need to have the app themselves; they simply need to accept and confirm an invite sent to them to be added as a guardian.
"There is a one touch activation with run angel. When you press the centre, it emits a 120dB sound - which is as loud as standing in front of speakers at a rock concert," mum-of three Ms Caren said.
"At the same time, it will send text and email notifications with a location, time and date stamp to everyone in the guardian network".
The wearable product, manufactured in Ireland and the UK, is also aimed at students away from home and those travelling alone overseas.
"We haven't made the device completely gender specific. It can also be used for those with sports injuries, or to alleviate concerns for parents with their children away at college or abroad," said Ms Caren.
At present, there are three people working full-time on runangel - including Ellen and David - and a consultancy team of around ten.
The product is available to purchase online in Ireland but final discussion with European retailers will have runangel in stores "in a matter of weeks".
The duo acknowledge that there are some similar products on the market - or just coming out - but they believe that their alarm functionality is what sets runangel apart from the rest.
“From inception, our primary focus was on the alarm capability," Mr Caren said.
"We were determined to be as loud as we could be, after all, the greater the sound, the greater the attention one could attract in an emergency situation.""
Source: Louise Kelly, www.independent.ie
- Joseph Flaherty