SEOUL, June 22 (Korea Bizwire) – As violent crimes and threats against women are on the rise, Korean law enforcement agencies have adapted smartwatches as a means of protecting potential victims.
A special smartwatch was first introduced last year under a pilot project, and became an officially sanctioned device this year, according to the police. The watch can be paired up with smart devices, and has special functions.
If a person wearing one of the special watches presses a button during an emergency, a call is automatically made to the 112 police situation room, and the call is automatically identified as coming from a victim under protection. A call made from one of these watches is classified as ‘Code 0’, the most urgent situation, and the police are dispatched right away.
The device’s GPS function also allows the position of a wearer to be tracked in real time. A forced call receiving function allows the police situation room to make a call to the wearer to overhear the situation from the other end of the line.
If phone numbers of a family member or a friend are preset in the watch, an emergency notification text will be automatically sent when a call is made to 112.
These watches are given to those designated by the police for personal protection. The police will determine if any victims of violent crimes or anyone in danger of retaliatory crimes within their jurisdiction needs a watch through a screening committee.
Since crimes against women are becoming a social issue, the police will provide these watches to all victims of violent crimes if the request is made by the victim herself.
The police currently have 1,013 watches, of which 959 have been given out so far. Authorities will purchase 1,037 more watches, and a total of 2,050 will be in use.
However, actual images of the watch will not be disclosed to the public. Anyone under personal protection should not be recognizable, and possible convicts may damage or steal the watches when committing crimes.
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)