When dealing with a threat, the body’s fight-or-flight response gets activated, causing a surge of adrenaline that makes you zoned into whatever reaction you choose, and forget everything else altogether.
Axon, a company that manufactures Tasers for self-defense and law enforcement, made an improvement on their products after responding to numerous customer feedback. Their solution: a Taser that contacts 911 as soon as the Taser is fired.
Annie Pratt, Axon’s director of consumer products, had this to say about their new product line:
“When you’re under stress and your focus narrows to getting away from someone, then small details like picking up the phone and calling 911 can escape you. We wanted to create a device that doesn’t require people to be in the physical mental state to remember that last step.”
Axon partnered with Noonlight, a company that made an app that automatically connects people with emergency services, to achieve this feat. The Taser must be paired with Noonlight’s app to make sure the user gets connected to the police.
When a user pulls the trigger on the Taser Pulse+, a beacon on the Taser communicates with the app, which alerts the authorities that an emergency is ongoing. Using data sourced from the app, including GPS, responding authorities get access to the user’s identification and coordinates, even when the user is fleeing the scene of the incident.
Noonlight co-founder Nick Droege makes this guarantee:
“Everything happens in real time we dispatch emergency services, and the user is getting a text message and a phone call from us so they can explain what’s happened, and 911 dispatchers are also seeing this information.”
“We might also have their health information, which includes information about allergies and medication use, and their picture from their profile information.”
The Taser Pulse+’s safety prevents cases of accidental alerts to the police if the user presses the trigger while the safety is on. If the user deems it unnecessary to get assistance from police after firing the Taser — or if they’ve mistakenly pulled the trigger while the safety’s off, they have the option to cancel the active alarm by inputting a four-digit code after they receive an SMS from the company’s dispatcher asking them if they require police on site.
Axon’s Taser Pulse+ has a 15-foot range and designed to incapacitate someone for 30 seconds. Including access to the Noonlight app, the device will set you back about $470 (or you can spend the same amount for a handgun, and do more than incapacitate).
Axon has declined to release any information regarding the number of individuals who have purchased their Tasers, and what percentage of its consumers are civilians vs. law enforcement.
Tasers have always been criticized for their negative aftereffects to the human body, and they’re being electric brings up their level of reliability as a weapon for self-defense. Incapacitation is entirely dependent upon where and how both electrical probes strike the target’s body.
Ron Martinelli, a forensic criminologist, made this statement to CNN back in 2015:
“Electronic weapons rarely work all the time. Historically, they tend to be about 60 percent effective.”
Droege said that his long-term goal is to take Noonlight to a direction that completely unburdens users from having to contact help services when in an emergency. To reach that goal, he plans to partner with companies that manufacture wearable devices that can detect when an individual needs help.
Then again, just like smart guns in the market, if you’re looking for reliability… there’ll be nothing like a good ol’ pistol or shotgun to drive away whatever goes bump in the night. Just saying.