When it comes to staying safe while out on the town, you can never be too careful. Which is why there’s so much advice out there on what to do if you’re in a bad situation, from the tip to order an Angel Shot so as to let a bartender know you need help, to videos that teach you how to escape from the trunk of a car or escape zip ties.
But before you get the the point of needing help, a new gadget aims to make going out safer right from the start.
It’s something many of us are guilty of—leaving our drinks unattended at a bar or party in order to go to the bathroom or chat with a friend. Which is why the Brio Smart Coaster was created. This gadget was launched for retail purchase in June with one goal—prevent drink tampering.
We just had to test it out, so we gave it a shot with a couple of experiments.
Brio uses Bluetooth technology to connect the coaster to an app on your phone. You simply put the battery into the device, download and set up the app and it’s ready to go in just a few minutes. After that, you use Brio just like a normal coaster. But if you have to leave your drink, you use the app to put it in “Guard” mode and cover the top of your drink with the coaster.
If someone moves the coaster from the top of your drink, you will receive a notification on your phone telling you your drink has been tampered with. When testing, I walked about 50 feet away from the coaster just to be sure it would still alert me at a distance. I had someone else remove the coaster and was notified instantly.
I ran the test a few more times and, each time, was alerted instantly. I have to admit, I was surprised by how quickly the alerts came in and how easy it all was to set up.
There are other benefits to the coaster and app as well, including games, the ability to interact with other Brio users and even a way to find places or attractions. It also includes multiple designs, so you can express your personality. I didn’t mess with these options too much because, honestly, the possible life-saving benefits of this unique invention were enough for me.
So while this coaster is neat and all, do you really need it? Consider the statistics. A person in the United States is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, and seven out of 10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. Leaving your drink unattended, even if it’s with someone you trust, can have dangerous consequences.
There is no such thing as being too safe, and thanks to technology and the creative minds at Brio, we can all have a little more peace of mind when having our much-needed nights out.