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Forgive me if this is old news to you, but it’s the first I’m hearing about this product that combines two of my favorite things – fashion and technology. The fact that one of its goals is to help keep women safe is just icing on the cake. Of course it’s not to say that it wouldn’t work for men, but the target as of now appears to be women.

The fashion jewelry wholesale line, Cuff, operates on Bluetooth technology. Each accessory has a place to store the removable “CuffLinc”, which serves as the device to alert a group of people that you choose of your exact location. There are pendants, bracelets and keychains – not just cuffs, as the brand name might indicate.

It does a few other cool things like alert you when an important call is coming through or when you’ve left your phone at home or on the table at a restaurant. Of course I have a lot of questions about these features that I’m unable to find answers to. (Is my Cuff going to vibrate every time I leave my phone on my desk to walk into a meeting? Will I have to manually set up my VIPs every time I sit down to lunch with a client so as not to be interrupted?)

I really want this to be a good product, because the idea is very neat, but I think it’s too soon to declare Cuff  a winner. First of all, in the emergency situation it’s being touted for, it only sends a real-time vibration to other Cuff wearers. Anyone else will only receive a push notification from the app, assuming they have their phone in hand and not silenced. Also, since it operates on Bluetooth technology synced to your cell phone, you would have to have cell service at the time of said emergency.

One can’t help but wonder though, in a true emergency, how much a device like this would actually prevent an attack or a robbery? Probably not at all. It may be helpful to police in piecing together an investigation or to find you if you were kidnapped (which is obviously a huge plus), but I don’t see how it could really serve as a deterrent.

Although the ad for Cuff on their website doesn’t mention it, one magazine write-up claims that only with an additional press of a button can you trigger a microphone that will send real time audio to your Cuff contacts. In the midst of a crime taking place, what are the chances that you would be able to do that?

From a safety standpoint, I do see this being used by parents to send and receive quick location based messages to and from their kids. But doesn’t a cell phone already have that capability? It might also be good to have in large venues like festivals and concerts where you may get separated from friends or family, but a cell phone usually handles that problem, too.

The Cuff system can also track fitness, and honestly I think this is where they can succeed in the foreseeable future – until Cuff’s technology does something a cell phone cannot. It tracks steps per day and you can enter your caloric intake via the app.

The fashionable thing about Cuff is that it actually looks like women’s jewelry – not a FitBit, or a Nike + Fuel Band or a Wal-Mart quality digital watch. Founder and CEO, Deepa Sood, is the former Vice President of Product Development with Restoration Hardware, so you know she has an eye for design. Her long term vision is to have well-known bridal jewelry designers create pieces that will pair with the CuffLinc. If that happens, I do think they will have some success.

It’s also moderately priced at just $49, for the basic package, which includes a CuffLinc, a Cuff bracelet and a charging system. Interchangeable cuffs and additional CuffLincs each start at just $29. It’s a small price to pay for the dual purpose of accessorizing and playing it safe.

With only 37 days until Christmas, this is a unique gift idea for the girl who has everything and wants to be the first to have everything else. They are currently in pre-order, so quite literally no one in the general public has one yet. I think it’s also a great gift idea for a businesswoman, a busy mom or someone who is trying to live  a bit healthier.

Item #: 11
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