This mobile safety device could help you stay safe in the field
Small, sleek and very loud, Katana attaches to a smartphone to audibly alert bystanders and communicate with a 24/7 safety center
by Craig C. Rowe Staff Writer Feb 4
Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.
Selling real estate is a “high-risk” career, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Thus, agent safety will never be a tired topic for the industry, especially as the rate of on-demand tour apps and leads cultivated over the internet increases the number of unvetted potential buyers wanting to see homes.
Thankfully, the market continues to see innovations in personal safety, and Katana Safety is one of them.
An alarm device about the size of a half deck of cards, Katana emits a high-pitched signal when a small safety tab is removed from its housing.
When the alarm sounds, the device alerts a company-manned safety center to put an emergency plan into action.
Subscription plans must be purchased ($15/month or $144/year) with the iOS or Android app, and they include access to the Katana Safety Center, which alerts formal authorities, locates the user, stays on the line with him or her and communicates with a preset circle of seven contacts.
Alerts can be triggered manually in three ways:
By pulling the safety tab from the base of the device
Holding down a silent alarm for discreet messaging to the safety center
By pulling an included quick-release wristband attached to the safety tab
Dropping the phone while attached to the wristband will also set off the siren.
The Katana looks very much like a backup battery, and it comes in 10 colors to either standout or remain subtle, depending on your taste in phone cases.
The app uses a simple interface to capture users’ personal information, track their location and manage their seven safety contacts.
When the alarm is triggered, Katana can bypass a phone’s lock screen to provide immediate access to data, in case the user is suffering a medical emergency and a bystander could help gain information.
In January, a real estate agent in Salt Lake City was killed while working to evict tenants from an apartment property.
There’s no telling if a safety device of any kind could have helped, but the case of David Stokoe, 40, is a reminder of the cruel randomness of attacks on agents and that it’s not only women being impacted.
Katana costs $99, plus the subscription. https://www.katanasafety.com/