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Help Grenade Pin

Mobile device seeks help when custom 3.5mm audio plug is removed.
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Summary: The device proposed is envisioned with the catchy title "Help Grenade Pin" or "Help Pin". This device would likely consist of a low profile audio plug which would alert others that help is needed when a user physical removes said device from for example an audio jack on a user's mobile device.

Problem: It has been observed that theft of a victim's mobile device in many cases leaves them without a means to seek help (e.g., contact friend(s), emergency services via phone call or other means), which may also leave the victim vulnerable. Various strategies are used by an attacker (e.g., pickpocketing, "smash and grab", etc.) to steal mobile devices. However, the proposed product would be useful when 1) the victim has a limited but not inconsequentially amount of time to seek help using their mobile device before it is in the possession of the attacker, 2) the steps required to seek help are minimal for the victim - ideally one simple step required, and 3) the victim may or may not desire to alert the attacker that help has been sought.

Background: The device would be similar in some respects to the Mutator: Mute Your iPhone device [link].

Product Proposal: The proposed product would consist of an audio plug (e.g., 3.5 mm 4-pin stereo plug) situated underneath a gripping point which itself consists of a low profile material suitable for being pushed or pulled using only enough force available with one or two fingers. A sphere is suggested so that "catching" on clothing, etc. is avoided but manipulation by fingers/hand is still easily performed.

Complementary hardware/software on the mobile device is able via a variety of means to detect the presence or absence of the audio plug. Software may then be configured to behave in a number of ways and with increasing levels of urgency based on the absense of the audio plug based device. This could include but not be limited to 1) contacting emergency services, 2) continuously sending photos and audio recording of the environment to a remote location, 3) sending location information to a remote location, etc.

The ubiquitous 3.5mm audio plug is deemed a desirable and even preferred interface for the proposed device due to its presence on nearly all mobile devices, and due to its physical construction which assists in avoiding "false alerts". However, this concept may be applied to other types of physical interfaces and software configurations without loss of generality.

jda2158, Oct 31 2013

Mutator http://www.kickstar...-iphonewith-a-twist
Mutator: Mute Your iPhone with a Twist [jda2158, Oct 31 2013]

[link]






       If you are wearing ear-things that are plugged in, and the thief steals the phone and jerks the audio cord loose, the pulling of *that* pin might be a reason for the phone to request help.   

       The owner merely needs to ensure that the cord is attached to clothing such that the pin *must* be pulled for a thief to get away, and the user would pre-activate the appropriate app.   

       When the user wants to pull the audio plug, the app would be called up and disabled.
Vernon, Oct 31 2013
  

       When the user wants to pull the audio plug, have the app monitor one or more buttons. If the plug is removed while the volume-down and camera buttons are held simultaneously (or some other configurable combination that works well with your particular phone model) it will not sound the alarm. It can use haptic or audio feedback when the correct button combination is pressed to indicate that the alarm is deactivated.
scad mientist, Oct 31 2013
  

       @Vernon - Very interesting thinking - looks like a lively commentary/discussion is under way!
jda2158, Oct 31 2013
  

       This was not what I wanted it to be--not even close--but it's bunworthy nonetheless.
Alterother, Oct 31 2013
  
      
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