Avon man develops 'smart pepper spray'

INDIANAPOLIS - A new product developed by an Avon man is being called the "smartest pepper spray" for your safety.

Ryan McManus helped develop a device called the Defender. McManus said the device is like a home-security system that you can take with you everywhere you go. 

With one push of a button, the Defender doesn't just do the obvious, it also takes a picture of your attacker, sounds an alarm and calls police.

The Defender’s central office contacts law enforcement, sending authorities to an exact location using GPS technology.

McManus said his business partner got the idea for the device when a female family member was heading off to college.

"My partner Steven started thinking, what else could you provide somebody, for both personal protection and security, and that was the beginning of our development of the Defender," McManus said.

McManus said the Defender also has a medical application for people with health issues.

People walking along the Monon Trail on Friday seemed to think the device was a good idea.

"I think that for young people -- which there are many of in Broad Ripple -- walking around by themselves, it's a great idea, especially with how crime's picked up around here," Karena Halman said.

McManus said he is using a crowdfunding website to raise the money to make the idea happen. So far he has raised a little more than $200,000.

The device currently costs $159, but McManus said by next year it will cost a monthly fee of between $15 and $20, without any hardware costs.

Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1

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