First Look: KATANA Safety Arc
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Weight: 1.5 oz
Size: 2.25” w x 3.75” h
Price: $149 + a monthly subscription
Best Features: Discreet and access to 24/7 response center
Room for Improvement: Doesn’t work without a phone
Whether your on the city sidewalks or on remote mountain trails, it’s nice to have a sense of safety. There are plenty of times I’ve either crossed the street or ran quickly around a few corners to avoid people while living and running in a big, populated city. But trails don’t provide an escape from danger, either.
One option for safety I came across is the KATANA Safety Device. It is a small rectangular device that attaches to the back of your phone. KATANA promises three layers of safety. There’s the Safety App, the Response Center, and the Safety Arc Device.
The first line of defense is the device itself. It’s a small, sleek box that attaches to the back of your phone. There is a red tab on the bottom that triggers an audible alarm. It also has a wristband that can be worn and when pulled taunt, it triggers the same audible alarm. Within three seconds of triggering the alarm the Katana App notifies the 24/7 Response Center. For a more discreet alert, there is a button that when pressed three times or held down for three seconds sends a silent alert to the 24/7 Response Center.
To set it up, you have to download the app. It’s very user friendly and has a step-by-step tutorial that shows you how the different features work. The device connects to your phone via bluetooth and requires a wifi connection or an active data plan. You can easily upload your pre-existing contacts and designate the seven people who will receive a message and a map of your location when an alert is activated.
The last layer of defense is the 24/7 Response Center which provides access to trained operators who can assist you in a crisis or uncomfortable situation. The Response Center operator can call emergency services on you behalf and they activate notifications to your designated seven people.
To have access to the 24/7 Response Center, you have to pay a subscription of $9.99 per a month or $99 for the year. On top of the $149 price tag, the device is pricey.
I like that the device is discreet and attaches to the back of any phone. When I set it up in the app, I soon got a text message from my grandma asking about a message she received from Katana saying she was one of my emergency contacts. It’s nice to know that it works quickly and effectively. The device also works without needing to purchase the subscription to the Response Center.
On the downside, the device doesn’t work without a phone or cell service. So if you’re a runner who doesn’t carry your phone or you’re trekking out into the wilderness where cell service is spotty, the Katana isn’t your best bet for safety.
While there are other safety options that don’t cost as much, like pepper spray or flashlights that double as stun guns, its hard to put a price on safety. The Katana provides a reasonable solution that keeps you connected to your loved ones.