Accept The Grace Eunkyeong Kwon SafeRANG Chief Executive

DNX’s self-powered smart safety watch- RANG, has come a long way since it was created in 2015. It was the winner of the best new product at KES 2015 and featuring in Korea’s smart city pilots and LoRA IoT network rollout. Today, WT | Wearable Technology has a very interesting interview with CEO Grace Kwon about her motivation for developing RANG. You don’t want to miss the chance to learn more about the RANG safety watch at WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2016 Asia in Hong Kong on October 12 where Prof. Kwon will be speaking.

How did you come up with the idea of a self-powered safety smartwatch as SafeRANG?

I’m lucky to live in South Korea, which is actually a pretty safe country. But one day I saw a news article about a young woman who suffered terrible violence but had no way to instantly summon help. It affected me quite deeply, and when I researched violence against women I was shocked – for instance do you know that a woman is assaulted or beaten every 9 seconds in the US according to the US Dept. of Justice. At that stage, I determined to make a product that could help.
I’m a computer scientist by trade, and a designer by heart. It seemed an obvious calling for me to try to make elegant, fashionable wearables aimed at women that help solve a real-world issue – and hence RANG was born.

Rang 1

What makes SafeRANG Smartwatch stand out in the market?

I’m a big believer that wearable technology should not just tell us or show us things or provide corporates with big data – it should actually ‘do’ something for the wearer. The RANG smart safety watch serves a real-world ‘for me’ purpose; it can help in accident or emergency situations. Of course, our watch includes the fitness functions and contactless payments and notifications and games we all love and expect from a smartwatch, but our USPs are design and safety. Whether its lone persons at night, the elderly at home, or kids walking home from school, RANG provides a bit of ‘peace of mind’ on your wrist that looks like jewelry instead of a clunky personal alarm. And to be 100% effective, emergency functions must work 100% of the time. That’s why we’ve added kinetic power to the watch to ensure that emergency functions work even if the battery is dead.

What can be the biggest challenge for SafeRANG at the moment?

From a design perspective, the user interface and experience are very important. We’ve trialed and tested and trialed again, of course this takes time and money! And I want the product to be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, so keeping manufacturing costs to a minimum is essential – we want to retail the product at multiple factors cheaper than what the large brand smartwatches currently retail at. Lastly, of course, the nascent stage of wearables is a challenge all of us in the industry face. It’s why events such as the WT Conference are so important and necessary, and I am truly honored and grateful to be speaking at Hong Kong in October.

As a jewelry smartwatch, what is the material of the smartwatch?

The watch itself comes in different versions – a ‘mirror face’ which is actually a highly reflective, polished, specialty plastic that is more robust than using glass. Alternatively the face can be crystal, or a Korean craftwork material called Hwagak, or even printed plastic for intricate designs. The jewelry can be silver or crystal depending on the version, and straps and bracelets come in numerous materials ranging from silicon through to leather through to beads. We want people to be able to ‘wear RANG their way’!

Rang 2

What is your favorite wearable beside your own one?

As I mentioned, I like wearables that solve a real-world issue – we can actually get fit without a band if we really want to! But wearables such as Leaf Healthcare that helps bedridden people avoid ulcers, or Alex that helps people avoid back and neck pain, are examples of technology going beyond what we can do ourselves.