A llama is probably not the fiercest animal you can think of in regards to protection, but for Joseph Parisi and Nick Nevarez, it was the perfect inspiration for their innovative Bluetooth 911 signal, the Guard Llama. This tiny, simple device is ideal for anyone concerned about their safety when moving out and about in the world. The easy-to-use design makes it simple to dial up 911 in the case of an emergency, and the discreet look of the device is just as unassuming as a real-life Guard Llama—lying in wait until the moment is right.
It was after an on-campus crime that Parisi wondered: was there a better way to receive assistance in times of emergency? As it stood, there were so many steps in place that required a whole lot of logical thinking during times of crisis. In order to call 911 and get help when you needed it, you had to find your phone, unlock, dial 911, explain yourself and your situation to a dispatcher, give them your address (if you even know where you are for sure) and then—only then—could you wait to receive the help you need. During that on-campus crime, the victim had her cell phone, and it wasn’t enough.
That’s when the founders of Guard Llama knew there had to be a better way. They put their heads together and presented an idea to the YWCA, printing their first prototypes on a 3D printer. Guard Llama has since become a sleek, one-button device that users can carry with them wherever they go, completely discreet. Just press the button twice and a photo of you, your medical history and, most importantly, your GPS location within 9 feet of your physical location is sent to police dispatch. How much easier could it really be?
First touted as “Life Alert for young people”, Guard Llama has since become a partner to some pretty big brands, and a personal guardian to many who find themselves in solitary, vulnerable positions on a daily basis. Perfect for Real Estate agents, students, runners and traveling professionals, the Guard Llama is a handy tool that’s lightweight and easy to carry. It runs on Bluetooth, so your phone does need to be near you in order for it to work, but there’s no password, no dialing, no words required. Simply double-click to get the help you need. And if you accidentally set it off, you can open up the adjoining app on your cell phone and deactivate the alarm.
Guard Llama has already partners with some pretty impressive brands including the YWCA, 1871 and the National Association of Realtors. What began as two college students with an idea has sprouted into something that could change the face of 911 operations completely. Soon, we may all be carrying these small devices in our pockets. The Guard Llama is easy to use and, because it only uses data when activated, it doesn’t kill the battery life of your iPhone or Android device. Like a real Guard Llama, it is an unassuming companion on life’s everyday adventures, there to help in times of need.
UPDATE: Guard Llama is no longer in business.