As a young professional living in Los Angeles, I often find myself leaving the office after dark to catch the metro or walk to my car. At least a few times a week I feel uneasy, whether from someone following me a little too closely, cat calling, or asking me inappropriate questions. I once even had an older man sit next to me in a mostly empty metro car and put his hand on my thigh. I felt anxiety take over as I stood up and got off at the next stop. Commuting home at night had become at the very least uncomfortable and often scary. I was tired of fearing the walk to my car or the ride on the metro, so I was excited to test out a personal safety device.
I’ve spent the past few weeks using this handy new gadget from Revolar, the Instinct. It’s a small wearable device with a button on it that I can press to easily check in with loved ones or notify them that I’m feeling unsafe.
Revolar Instinct Review
Setup is straightforward and simple. The instructions said to download the app, and the app walked me through pairing my Instinct with my phone. From there I was able to add contacts and set custom messages.
The app also walked me through testing the functionality of my device and showing me how to use each alert. Once I was finished with setup, which took less than five minutes, I felt comfortable that I’d be able to use the device confidently.
Revolar Instinct Features
The Revolar sends three different messages to your contacts based on how many times you press the button. There is a “Check-in”, a “Yellow Alert”, and a “Red Alert”. There is also a customization feature, which I liked because it made the alert messages sound more like me.
The best thing about adding contacts is that I can choose which contacts get which alerts. I wanted my roommate to get all the alerts, but my parents to only get the red alerts, so they wouldn’t worry with each check-in. The Revolar app made it easy to change the settings for each contact, and I can easily change them back whenever I want, like for a night out or a weekend in Vegas with the girls.
My favorite feature is the optional “Ring Me” feature, which I enabled immediately. When I press the button twice for a yellow alert, it also sends a pre-recorded phone call to my cell phone. As the app says “this can help you excuse yourself from an uncomfortable situation”. I think this is the most useful feature of the device on a daily basis. I used it the first day I wore my Instinct to avoid a stranger who was talking inappropriately to me on the street.
The Instinct is much smaller than the Revolar Classic, which has been great for me. It comes as a tiny device that snaps into a clip with a removable keychain ring, so I can clip it onto a pocket or attach it to my keys. Because I live in Los Angeles and drive everywhere, I snapped my Instinct onto my car keys and have carried it around ever since. When I’m not driving, I take the device off of the keyring and clip it to the pocket of my jeans. It’s so small that it’s never in the way!
It does have a step counter, so it would be great for someone who is looking to track their steps. The downside is that you have to wear it on your person for it to pick up all your steps in a day. Mine is usually in my bag while I’m at work, so it misses a lot of steps.
The device is super easy to use once it’s set up. For check-ins, all I have to do is hold down on the button to let my contacts know I made it home (or wherever I’m going) safely. The Yellow Alert is two clicks, and the Red is three. The device will buzz to let me know it has gone through.
When an alert is sent, the recipient gets a link to my current location, which, for yellow and red, it will keep tracking until I cancel the alert using the app.
This is where it gets tricky! I, luckily, have not needed to send an alert while using my Instinct, but it also means I don’t have an accurate idea of how quickly someone could get to me in the event of a Red Alert-type emergency. All of my tests worked well, and my contacts responded quickly, but in the event of a real emergency, the response rate would depend on the people getting the alert. For this reason, I tried to diversify my contact list. I wanted people in different time zones and with different phone habits, so I knew someone would always be near their phone in case of an emergency.
My One Worry
The major factor that worries me is that the device works through Bluetooth, so it’s useless if my phone is out of range or dead. There is also no setting to alert law enforcement or emergency responders myself. One of my contacts would have to call 911 and send them to me, which wastes precious minutes.
Overall, however, having the ability to let my friends and family know that I need help at the discrete touch of a button made me so much more confident walking to my car at night. I also was much less nervous around creepy guys at bars, because I knew I could make my phone ring at any moment if I needed an excuse to walk away 😉 . Having the Instinct has empowered me to stop living in fear every time I’m walking somewhere alone. It’s helped me to take back my independence and that is invaluable.
- Ring Me feature
- Gives confidence
- Limit to five contacts
- Dependent on being close to the phone (Bluetooth range)
- Does not alert emergency responders
Revolar Instinct Review Summary
Although it doesn’t solve every problem, this product is a huge step for personal safety and confidence, especially for women, and I definitely recommend it for anyone who is out alone at night, whether walking home or going for a run. It would be extremely helpful for nervous parents and their teenage children or those with aging family members who are at risk of medical emergencies where they may not be able to reach a phone or dial a number (i.e. falling, heart attacks, etc.).
Check out the Revolar Instinct for yourself.