Review: Practice Safety First with the Silent Beacon Panic Alert Button

Young, old, or in-between, safety should come first and that's the idea behind the Silent Beacon Panic Button ($99.99) that the company Silent Beacon showed off at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and gave me a review unit to try. Like many iPhone owners, I already have an Apple Watch and so do my family members. But the watch does so many things and the Emergency SOS feature is just one of them. The Silent Beacon is meant to do one thing, call for help, and it does it well, better than the Apple Watch in fact.

Silent Beacon

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You pair the Silent Beacon with your phone via Bluetooth and use the free companion app to configure what details you want to share, such as your GPS location and  medical history, and with whom you want to share that info. When in an emergency, you press the convenient rubber button on the Silent Beacon to start Alert mode. The app can be configured to make a phone call or send a text, email or push notification, or any combination of the above. You can even leverage the Silent Beacon's microphone and speaker to have a conversation.

Silent Beacon

The app is well-designed and straightforward. The hardware is compact and can be attached to your keyring or worn on a lanyard of your choice. A belt clip is included but they have another model called the Ease that includes a lanyard and is designed for those who might be less mobile. It has bigger, easier to press buttons that could help for those that are arthritic. 

With the Silent Beacon, there are no monthly charge,s but that is because it is dependent upon your cellphone for GPS and transmission. If your phone dies or is stolen (and beyond the range of Bluetooth) the Silent Beacon can't help. An Apple Watch with cellular capabilities can work independently of an iPhone. The Silent Beacon also needs to be recharged via the included, and lengthy, microUSB cable, but I would have preferred wireless charging so you could set it down at night and not worry about forgetting.

Pros

  • Well-designed app
  • Compact, convenient size
  • Belt-clip included or optional key ring or lanyard (not included)
  • Convenient one-button trigger
  • No monthly charges
  • Multiple color choices so each family member can have their own
  • About 100 hours of battery life
  • No contract, can call 911 or optional 24/7 support line for a fee

Cons

  • Dependent upon cellphone for GPS and transmission
  • Needs to be recharged via microUSB

Final Verdict

If you are concerned about safety, the Silent Beacon Panic Button can put your mind at ease. Just remember to keep it charged and keep your phone nearby.

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Author Details

Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.