While a lot of the gadgetry in our lives might seem like luxurious add-ons, plenty of tech kit can be literally life-saving. Whether you’re heading out to conquer the highest mountain on your continent or staying in at home, these are the gadgets designed to keep you safe.
We’ve got gadgets here to keep your home and kids protected as well as gizmos that can make sure you make it back home alive after your next trek into the wilderness… and if you should need to lock up something precious, then we’ve got you covered there as well.
Revolar smart alarm
There are plenty of wearables around designed to help you count your steps or check up on your Facebook notifications, but Revolar’s one and only job is to keep you safe. Keep it wherever you like on your person and press it once when you feel in danger: it sends an alert to your list of trusted contacts and updates them with your current location. If it turns out to be a false alarm, you can quickly deactivate the warning. [$99 (£70), Revolar]
Nest Protect smoke detector
The Google-owned Nest might be more famous for its smart thermostats, but the Protect smoke alarm is pretty clever too: it automatically tests itself, lasts for up to a decade and can be controlled from your phone. It can emit a piercing beep but before that it uses a friendly human voice (just in case you’ve only burnt the toast) and if you have several in your home they can all work in tandem to keep you and your family safe. [£89/$99, Nest]
Voltaic Amp Solar Charger
You might not think a solar charger can save your life until you’re half way down a mountain with a broken ankle and a dead phone. The Voltaic Amp is affordable, rugged and powerful, giving you three hours of smartphone usage for every one hour in the sun (it can charge cameras and tablets too). The battery pack can be charged from a wall socket as normal too so you can leave the house with a full supply of reserve power. [$99 (£70), Voltaic]
Tinitell Kid Tracker
Sure, you can look after yourself, but what about your kids? If you’ve got young ones running around the house (and garden) then the Tinitell from Sweden is worth a look. The chunky, durable wrist strap beams back your child’s GPS location to your phone while enabling them to make calls of their own: by pressing the button on the front of the device, little ones can get in touch with a pre-approved list of contacts. [$149 (£105), Tinitell]
Canary security camera
Protect yourself from intruders as well as pets with the help of the Canary security camera. This smart gadget sits in the corner of one of your rooms and keeps an unblinking eye on everything happening in the home – if something suspicious is spotted, you get an alert sent straight to your phone. Air quality, temperature and audio are monitored too, and it’s possible to tap remotely into a live stream at any time as well. [£159/$199, Canary]
LifeStraw water filter
The impressive LifeStraw makes almost any kind of water safe to drink while you’re out in the wilderness – it’s been rigorously lab tested and found to remove 99.9999 percent of water-borne bacteria and parasites. The device is good for filtering some 1,000 litres of water as well, so you shouldn’t have to replace it too often, and there’s a more advanced Steel edition available if you don’t mind the extra weight. [€26.95 (£21/$29), LifeStraw]
L’Oréal UV Patch
This one won’t be available until later in the year, but it’s an intriguing idea and one well worth looking out for in the coming months: it’s a smart UV patch, connected to your phone, which warns you when you’ve spent too long in the sunshine. From day trips to the beach to work assignments in the great outdoors, it could prove to be an essential (and very simple) bit of protective kit to guard against harmful ultraviolet rays. [£TBC, L’Oréal]
Noke Bluetooth Padlock
The Noke doesn’t keep you safe – it keeps your possessions safe. From lockers to gates to bikes, this smart padlock operates via Bluetooth and can be unlocked using your smartphone (even if it’s in your pocket). What’s more, you can grant temporary access to whatever Noke is guarding for your friends and family too. The battery lasts for more than a year, it’s weatherproof, and there’s a manual unlock option too.