Haven't had to use it for a real emergency, thankfully. Worked like a charm (pun intended) during multiple tests. Ordered this for my wife who has orthostatic hypotension and after testing it out at various ranges I ordered two more for my parents. The only advice I have is when entering the phone numbers for the V.ALRT to call, make sure the area code is entered for the phone number in your contact list or the texts and phone calls will not go through.
Is enhanced security worth 10 cents a day?
This is an excellent value for a proficient user of high end smartphone with Bluetooth 4.0+, and preferably who also has call recipients with browser accessible smartphones or at least text capable phones.
V.alrt is a single-press, wearable Bluetooth button that wireless attaches to the smartphone, and activates its app to call and/or text 3 phone numbers. Price in July-2014 is $60, and there is no recurring monthly charge. So, assuming a three year life and a change in battery yearly, V.alrt's daily cost is under 10 cents a day. Competitive product-services with 24/7 professional monitoring services cost approximately 70 to 140 cents daily--7 to 14 times more. Notice that V.alrt's three dialed-to numbers may not answer or are unlikely to professionally remote manage the needed emergency aid resources--which is what the 24/7 professional services do. Yet, for most healthy, proficient users of smartphones, V.alrt is well worth it at 10 cents a daily. Yes, v.alrt has flaws and the products with monthly services of $20 to $40 per month are superior, if you want to pay for the better service.
For less proficient smartphone users, elderly, or for those with medical conditions, V.alrt may be less valuable due to complexities of operating a smartphone and its apps. V.alrt is simple to operate, but it needs to compete for attention among the many interruptions of other apps and smartphone. And occasionally, something will go wrong. For example, I didn't get the voice calls to work quickly; though v.Alrt's texting worked just fine. How many elderly would have been able to diagnose corrections to the voice call problems I encountered?
For not-so-proficient smartphone users, here is another low cost method. Get non-monitored neck-bracelet-worn, 911-only phone for home use (LogicMark Guardian 911--$110) --no maintenance charge. Once outside home, then use v.Alrt (which isn't set up for 911 and is more complex). An imperfect solution, with still no monthly charges.
Also, check with your police department--many can receive text messages, so this can act as a secondary service to 911 calls.
Does not work with Windows 8 phone (my favorite) or with Kindle Fire.
Overall, an imperfect security product, but a great value for proficient users of Bluetooth 4.0 smartphone users.
Had a little trouble connecting, but excellent technical support got it going great!
I'm reviewing this product as part of OnlineShopDealer's Vine program and was provided at no charge to try it out. I was trilled, and thought I would use it during my afternoon walks to alert my husband if I ran into trouble. I always take my iPhone 5 with me, so I thought this would be a perfect thing to have since it syncs right into the iPhone app using bluetooth and does not require a monthly subscription (you have to have a smart phone with cellular service).
Be aware, you have to have your smart phone close by for the alert system to work, so this may be difficult if you have an elderly parent that has dementia (it is a little tricky to use) or you live in an area without consistent, good cellular service. It also uses the GPS location from your phone, not the actual v.alert unit, so the accuracy can be iffy (yet good enough for what it is). It's very cool, the GPS location is sent to my husband when I press the alert and my location shows up on a google map! It works great!
My problem is, I haven't been able to get it to sync (but read my UPDATE below). I have my bluetooth on and have been able to sync to other bluetooth devices, but not this one. The instructions included in the box are really limited. The instructions are composted of 22-panel pictographics that illustrate how to setup the unit, but not a lot of other information or troubleshooting.
I got on the valert website, but could only find similar information found in the pictographics and nothing regarding troubleshooting for this problem. It was a little difficult to find technical support, but finally found it at the bottom of their website in small text. I emailed them on a Saturday evening, so hopefully will hear back from them soon.
Here's my question to their technical support center. I will provide an update when I receive their response:
"I can't get this unit to sync with my iPhone running iOS 7.1.1. I have my bluetooth on and no problems connecting to other bluetooth devices. I hold the unit for over 10 seconds and it won't connect. Are you able to provide technical support. I am reviewing your product on OnlineShopDealer as part of the Vine program, so if you can respond asap I would appreciate it!"
UPDATE: I heard from their technical support specialist, Glenn, and he followed up right away (on Sunday!!!). He sent really good instructions and options to get it going. I realized I wasn't doing it right when I was syncing the bluetooth. After holding 10 seconds the unit will beep, at that point you need to let go of the button on the unit, but I continued to hold it. Once I tried it by letting go after it beeped, it synced perfectly and right away. Also, I hadn't rebooted my iPhone in quite some time, so Glenn made that suggestion too. Their technical support it excellent!!!
Once I got it sync'd, the app works great. It's very user friendly and intuitive! I love the compact size and it's super easy to use. Luckily I haven't had an emergency yet where I had to use it, but it's really nice knowing it's there if I need it. Awesome product!!!
Great for added peace-of-mind
I live in the middle of nowhere, and when I saw this I wanted it. I like to go out and explore, and I also like to feel safe while doing so. Add in the fact that we recently had a child and peace-of-mind becomes even harder to come by. That is what is great about this item; it works in unison with your phone but adds some distance, allowing you to contact someone while in distress. Whether mowing the lawn and having an issue or walking through the woods; I tried it out in an area that is very isolated and it worked pretty well - there were few places I ran across where it did not work. That makes me feel good about adding it to a purse while my wife is at the park or to a pocket while I am out doing whatever. It has to be depressed for "x" amount of time, too, so you are not going to end up with SWAT and air rescue at your doorstep simply because a family member mistakenly thought your watch was a hard-to-read digital display.
What it does is contact someone on your behalf with a few options on how to do so. I set up a test message and tried out a few folks, and within minutes they were calling me back to see what it meant. It was a breeze to set up - you have to download an application to your phone and hit a few buttons - and you can wear it in different styles, allowing you to either display or hide the item.
I will be picking up more of these, simply because it adds peace-of-mind for fairly little money.
Highly recommended and provides peace of mind
I bought this for my elderly (but still tech-capable) mother who lives alone. As someone who lives in another state and travels for work frequently, this device gives me peace of mind in case she were to have a problem. Not only will it provide me with an alert but it also notifies her neighbors who would be able to immediately assist. I like the fact that paying a monthly fee for monitoring is not required. Thankfully she has not had to use it for an emergency thus far, but in the initial testing when I was at her house it worked flawlessly.
The devise makes both of us feel comfortable!
My wife loves to run. The devise makes both of us feel comfortable!
Great deal for those with smartphones
This unit works great -- as long as you have a charged smartphone nearby whenever you need to use it. If you do, this device will save you a lot of cash over stand-alone alerts. A LOT of cash. Relying on a functioning phone might seem like a drawback, but that's what this unit was designed for -- to piggyback on your phone and thus allow it to cost much less than units that need to provide their own communications networking.
Some elderly users might find the smartphone requirement and app-features management a small challenge, but anyone using it for outdoor safety (during late-night/early-morning runs, for example) will have few to no issues.
Not sure how well it would work for the elderly, but great for runners, hikers, or those who find themselves in risky situations
When I ordered this from Vine, I was thinking about setting it up for my mother who has a heart condition, lives by herself, and already has an iPhone 5. She seemed like a prime candidate for its emergency response features, but after receiving the device I started to think that it would end up in a drawer if I set it up for her. Instead, I paired it with my Google LG Nexus 5, set it up to send my location to my wife, daughter, and a coworkers whom I often travel with, and keep it with me when I'm walking around cities, on hikes (dog walks in our coyote laden trails), and especially when I'm out running or biking.
I haven't had a use to send an actual alert, but have tested it enough to see that it stays paired to the phone, and reliably sends the emergency text when I tell it to. It is small, unobtrusive, and easy to remember to bring with me.
I have no complaints about this device, and am really happy about the piece of mind that it provides me. It was easy to set-up and so far has the reliability that you need from a device like this.
Being someone who is now starting to have to take care of aging parents, let alone a parent, this device is awesome! I am at times worried when I know that they are alone, and worries for my own oldest daughter when she goes out on her bike. The nice thing with this is that you can easily take it anywhere. The device is so small which means it can be worn or concealed without people knowing.
I tried out the device a few times and found that it was accurate and sent the message that I wanted it to send without a problem. The thing that I have to say that I like the most is that I have peace of mind knowing that I will get notified if there is a problem and I can act quickly in that manner.
Though I only have one of these devices, I have already been thinking about getting a few more, and with no monthly fee, this is a great safety device to have for all of my family members!
*I received this for review - all opinions are my own*