When was the last time you thought “I have nothing valuable in my bag, I don’t care if someone steals it”? Probably never. Skarabeos is a small device that can be installed in your bag, backpack or purse to prevent theft – it will set off an alarm if anyone tries to steal it.
”My colleagues and I regularly have to carry important data with us in our bags, which can be stolen or get lost very easily. We found out that 1.5 billion people worldwide have the same problem,” said Wolfgang Langeder from Skarabeos. Together with Christian Dils, Manuel Seckel and Rene Vieroth, whom he met at Ars Electronica festival in 2009, they try to improve the world with wearables.
Skarabeos is a tiny, lightweight device that can be installed in any bag. You can control it with your smartphone or smartwatch via a Bluetooth connection. Its main feature is setting off an alarm on a pickpocketing attempt. The system is preventive, warning you before the thief has access to your belongings. Skarabeos will also alarm you if you forget your bag and leave without it (this feature is called an “e-leash”). The device works on low-power connection, so two regular batteries last a year. An accompanying app lets you track your bag in case it gets stolen and stores information about security in places you travel to.
The team has already acquired an abundant experience in wearables technology. Langeder has 15 years of experience in fashion business; he founded his first company for wearables, Utope, in 2012. This company was awarded a Red Dot /Best of the Best for the realization of Sporty Supaheroe – one of the very first products that used stretchable electronics.
Dils, responsible for business development, is a researcher at Fraunhofer IZM Berlin. Seckel holds numerous patents in the field of stretchable electronics. Vieroth is an expert for wearable electronics developing several hard- and software related innovations in the field. Together they founded Stretchable Circuits, a startup specializing in flexible electronic systems.
Skarabeos is currently at the prototype stage, but already secured 150k funding from the Austrian Government. The team plans to begin sales in 2017 shortly after launching a crowdfunding campaign.