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The days of traveling in bear country with bells and air horns may be over—if you’ve got an iPhone. New Jersey lawyer and inventor Alex Tiger (great name, guy!) developed the “Scare Bear Trail Companion” app as a 99-cent digital solution to frighten bears on the trail. Users can choose between the sound of an airhorn, bear bells, hands clapping, or rocks shaking in a tin can, which they activate by shaking the iPhone.
The developer hopes people choose his all-in-one app when they head to bear hotspots like Aspen for hiking this summer.
“I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if you could just have this on your iPhone instead of people having to buy all this stuff,’” Tiger, a 38-year-old lawyer and former Vail Resorts seasonal employee, recalled recently.
There are a couple problems: While Tiger recorded the actual sounds of each noisemaker in a studio to maximize realism, they can only play as loud as the iPhone’s external speaker, which means the noise doesn’t reach the decibel levels of making the noises yourself. For now, forest service officials recommend you continue making your own noises.
Also, what happens when you run out of batteries? Guess you could always take a cue from the Vermont woman who chucked her iPhone at a bear.