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Opal Wearables: Safety and Style Rolled into One 

A woman holds a hat in her hand while wearing an Opal smart ring

Opal Wearables: Safety and Style Rolled into One 

Safety is a fundamental human right, and improving safety through the use of today’s innovative technology is the newest Rev member company, Opal Wearables. Opal has created a smart ring that is designed to provide an extra level of safety and comfort while being a discreet, aesthetic, accessory. Once paired with the wearer’s personal device, the ring can alert 911, send an SOS message, connect to emergency contacts, and share the wearer’s location. 

We sat down with Co-Founder & CEO Jen Chiang to learn more about how Opal started and the future of the company. 

What is the “origin story” behind your company? 

Opal was born out of a project from business school. The professor had asked us to think about a problem that we wanted to solve, and for me there was only one problem I wanted to work on: safety. This was because of my own experiences. I interviewed 200+ women & LGBTQ+ individuals over time to understand safety concerns and consulted with security and self-defense experts to design our solution. 

Later, I met Lance (Co-Founder & CTO) through Columbia Build Lab which matches business school students with engineering students. We started building in October 2021.  

What customer need is your company attempting to address? 

Unfortunately, 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. In addition, the LGBTQ+ community faces the most alarming rates of violence. Most victims don’t have a moment to alert someone to get help, and that’s the problem that we’re solving at Opal.  90% of the 200+ people we surveyed need and want to buy a wearable panic button for their safety, but they want to like the design. Products on the market today are not being adopted for this reason. 

Do you have any recent company milestones or accomplishments you would like to share? 

We were recently featured in Elle, Glamour, and Fashion Week Online for New York Fashion Week as well as Forbes. 

Opal was an awardee in Fuzehub’s Jeff Lawrence Innovation Manufacturing Grant and Fuzehub’s Commercialization Competition. 

Where do you envision your company a year from now? Five years from now? 

One year from now we will have completed our beta launch to demonstrate proof of concept and people’s willingness to integrate safety wearables into daily lives. 

Five years from now we hope that major jewelry brands will offer our technology in their designs so we can scale our smart safety technology and have it available to those who need it.