Personal safety is a problem that's yet to be cracked by standalone wearables which is why Fossil has teamed up with Noonlight to bring its platform to the latest 'Gen 4' Fossil Wear OS smartwatches, the Fossil Q Explorist HR and Fossil Q Venture HR.
Noonlight, previously known as SafeTrek, will be rolling out for new Fossil watches this week in the US. It's also available as a mobile app and an Alexa skill and the startup was a finalist for the Women's Safety X Prize.
Here's how it works. There's a one-tap alarm that acts as a panic mode - this alerts Noonlight's 'dispatchers' and 'responders' who will contact you to check you're OK. You can also text them if you can't talk. If there's a situation, they contact local police, fire or medical services to attend to the emergency.
Noonlight's FAQs say: "We originally designed Noonlight for times when you feel scared but aren’t ready to call 911 and to solve the problem of poor location data from cell phone calls to 911. Noonlight does not replace 911."
When you set up the smartwatch app, you can set a four digit PIN code as well as entering information that might be relevant in an emergency e.g. on medications or allergies. So the second feature is a timer mode - perhaps if you're walking home alone - whereby if you don't enter your PIN in a set period, help will be sent to your location. In each case, the Fossil smartwatch will vibrate discreetly to let you know someone's coming.
It's an interesting set of personal safety features and another smart move from Fossil Group when it comes to useful, everyday smartwatch functions. Now, let's see it for the rest of Fossil Group's designer smartwatch collections.