Violence against women is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights.
Describe your Lovie Finalist project. What’s the elevator pitch?

Digital technologies offer great opportunities to act on societal issues. Violence against women is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights. App-Elles® is a free personal safety app to help victims and witnesses of sexual and gender violence. App-Elles® is design to be a complementary help to the emergency services call and a gate to the help resources. Women and their families need to feel safe and feel good. All together we can fight violence against women by using solidarity, mutual help and reciprocal vigilance.

What inspired this particular cause as the subject of your work?

For more than 10 years, our non-profit organization has been raising awareness of violence against women. We develop and create ever more useful communication and information tools in order to make our help more efficient. In 2015, the idea of designating a mobile app for this audience became obvious. The solution was before our eyes, in their hands and pockets. We had to use a mobile app to deliver our prevention content and provides helps on mobile phones of all. The development of a connected bracelet has come with the request from several associations and users practicing outdoor activities.

What real-world impact were you hoping to make with this project?

We want to make the world safer for women and girls. Our app is designed to help save lives, restore inner peace and self-confidence for victims and their families.Victims and witnesses must be able to act quickly and have easy access to help resources. We want our application to become a major and essential application present in every mobile phone. It helps girls and women to communicate with those they trust and to get help in distressing situations. It contributes to and enhances crucial support networks which provide a literal life-line in the event of an attack and an abuse.

Did your team have a specific “breakthrough” moment when conceiving or executing this project that you can share?

In January, we were honored with an CES Innovation Award (cat.Tech for a better world). It was a real feat for our nonprofit social organization. Our product has been spotted among projects run by great companies with larger budgets. We have proven that it is possible to develop solutions with high social impact and products, without seeking only about financial profit.

Was the tech/medium you chose essential to conveying your message? If so, why?

Everyone has a mobile phone and is connected. We want to show the virtuous side of this technology and the potential for social use of connected objects.

What was the greatest challenge that arose during your work on this? What about the most rewarding moment?

We must be sure that our service is fully operational at all times. This is a great challenge for our the technical teams. People use our app and bracelet for their safety. Many user testimonials and women tell us that they dare to go out again in their neighborhood because they feel safe and protected.

What did you learn in the process of creating this work that you didn't know/expect going in?

The speed at which technologies evolve forces us to constantly adapt, evolve and innovate, the possibilities seem infinite. We did not expect to become some digital makers. We discovered this work through our social projet and now we put some digital development in every of our actions and solutions.

About the Best Connected Products & Wearables category

Physical objects or devices that are connected to the internet to provide a real world experience. This may include wearables, health care devices, home automation or transportation devices.

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