Women #safeinIndia, will Zappowr make it happen?
Women often work late, travel alone, meet friends for dinner and drive back home from work after dark. However, there is always that underlying current of “I hope I am safe” that almost all women will identify with. Ready cash, a charged cell phone and a can of pepper spray are some of the measures women take to be prepared for worst-case scenarios.
MyTi Technetronics, a BITS-Pilani incubated startup, is adding to this list a convenient and easy to use self-defense option with Zappowr, a stun gun that can temporarily disable an assaulter.
According to Rohin Kumar Y, Founder and CEO of MyTi Technetronics Pvt Ltd, that is working on bringing out easy to use consumer electronics products, Zappowr addresses increasing atrocities toward women in metros like chain snatching, mugging and other crimes. “As we don’t anticipate accidents every other day, we certainly can’t afford to carry dead weight around. Zappowr can be used as a battery pack for our power hungry smart phones and can come in handy to pack a punch when women need self-defense,”he says.
Kumar believes that a stun gun can be a better deterrent in cases of intimidation and can offer better self-protection than pepper sprays because the latterpotentially aggravate the attacker. “A stun gun, on the other hand, temporarily disables the intimidatorand hence ends the confrontation,” he explains.
Effects and after effects
The stun gun induces a temporary muscular atrophy that lasts for a time period that depends on the time of contact with the voltage. Apart from temporarily disabling the person, it can cause muscle cramps and pain in the affected area. Though it does not have any permanent effects, if used on heart patients it can cause serious complications, in extreme cases leading to death.
Defensive or offensive
The catch with most such devices is that they might end up becoming weapons of offense. “However, stun guns, if used wisely, can be excellent defense devices,” says Kumar, adding, “Since stun guns don’t cause any permanent damage, the Zappowr other than being a tool of intimidation also allows for an element of surprise.”
Kumar says that they are hoping to work with security agencies that employ night watchmen, security guards and cops as the Zappowr can be a great companion for them to use in crowd control, patrolling etc. “We are looking to work with NGOs and other organizations in reaching out to the right people to increase awareness about self-defense techniques and tools. We are also planning to offer bulk purchase discounts and subsidies to NGOs,” he elaborates.
While Zappowr is small, light and easy to carry, it emits a 20,000V electric shock. It is made of ABS plastic and has a reliable power backup with 4000mAh battery. Itcharges mobile phones and other gadgets on the go. Its LED flashlight comes in handy in the dark and the ion batteries need no replacement for they are easy to charge. Its sharp electrodes ruthlessly penetrate through thick cloth. Ample care has been taken to prevent accidental discharge, with two levels of safety (with an extra switch) built in for the stun gun to operate. The Zappowr comes with aoneyear warrantywith a replacement guarantee.The Zappowr prototype is ready. MyTi is running a crowdfunding campaign to make it a possibility. The vendors for components have been finalised and the tooling process will begin end of the year once the money for the mould is raised. The first quarter of 2015 will see the assembly line up and mass production followed by a final testing. The Zappowr will reach the customer in April,2015.
There is no permission or guideline required for its usage. It can be bought off the shelf pretty much like Pepper Spray. MyTi has applied for patents to protect theirproduct in a niche market, with just a smattering of traders selling Chinese stun guns and Tasers online.“There are no major players in India with the make in India spirit”, smiles Kumar. “For bringing the cost down for Indian users, we need to setup the manufacturing for Zappowr.I request people to support the cause and help us in our endeavourto make Zappowr possible,” he adds.