When OnStar first came out, I remember finding the concept of a disembodied voice in the car to help with emergency situations kind of cool. Now you can equip your body with the same sort of technology.
GreatCall's 5Star Responder is a small GPS-equipped device that can clip to your keychain. Push the button and it hooks you up with an emergency responder over a nationwide cellular network.
Obvious uses for the Responder are when you're being threatened or have had an accident, but GreatCall also encourages use if you want someone to be there when you're walking to your car alone at night or hear strange noises outside of your house. Pretty much anything that gooses your danger instincts.
The response agents are trained to walk your through these sort of situations, but holding down the button on the Responder will connect you directly with 911 when you really need it.
It's reasonable to wonder what 5Star can do that a cell phone can't. It makes sense for kids, elderly, or the infirm and doesn't require fumbling around for a phone and dialing a number. A 5Star Urgent Response app is also available for the iPhone.
The Responder costs $49.99 with a $35 activation charge and a monthly service fee of $14.99.