By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer

Sleek and functional, the Defender is designed to be a non-obtrusive phone case./ PHOTO VIA Defender Indiegogo Page

Recently in the news, there’s been a heavy emphasis on safety, but especially women’s safety. With news like NFL player Ray Rice’s attack on his then-fiancée, there is good reason for this concern.

In terms of safety, there’s always the age-old advice of carrying pepper spray in your bag. While this is a viable option in terms of keeping yourself safe, it can also be unhelpful if you can’t get to it.

This is where The Defender comes in, a phone case that works with iOS and Android, marketed with the tagline “smart personal protection.”

The Defender itself works in four parts. Once you hit the top button, the case emits pepper spray — at least, the most one can carry legally, depending on which state you’re in — at the perpetrator. The case also automatically takes a picture of this person, which then gets sent (along with GPS location and other information) to Defender’s 24-hour monitoring service. After that, they contact the right authorities to come help you. The app can also alert up to five contacts as to what has happened to you. The case itself emits a loud noise and starts up an oscillating flash to get the attention of bystanders.

While the case is pricey starting at $159 and up, it seems well worth the price for the safety it assures. Plus, this could very well be a lifesaver for students walking back to their dormitories or apartments late at night.

According to the phone case’s Indiegogo page, currently it has doubled its goal of $100k by more than double, with about 278 funders backing the project. Funders who choose to be “Early Adopters” can get The Defender with a limited time discount price of $159.

However, I do think there are a few drawbacks to this case. The price is an issue for college students, but it isn’t my biggest concern. There are a lot of chances for the button to be sprayed accidentally, which could cause damage to a potential friend – not enemy – especially with the high concentration of pepper spray in the case.

Check out the promotional video and decide for yourself whether The Defender seems like a good idea. What do you think? Let me know your opinions in the comment section below!