While mobile phones have helped a lot of people escape dangerous situations that are detrimental to personal safety and well-being, smartphones have tried to take it to the next level. I’m not armed with data or analytical insight here but in general, smartphones have not been a radical addition to this security issue.
But there are self-defense apps for the iPhone which help you alert the cops and your friends when you are in danger. SafeTrek is one such app, a very ingenious one at that.
SafeTrek is a very simple app which – when used and triggered – will alert the cops silently with a danger-alert tagged with your current location. When you feel unsafe, all you have to do is tap and release a button on the app.
Designed to beat the time it takes to dial 911 and send your SOS message, SafeTrek started as a small project but has found some widespread success. The app works very simply:
If you feel unsafe – say, when you're showing someone around a property in a remote location, or if you're walking somewhere at night time – open the app and press-and-hold on the Safe button. After you are out of the unsafe zone and are sure that you are safe, remove your finger from the button and enter a PIN to cancel the alarm system which will send a message to the cops.
In case you are in an emergency, all you do is remove the finger from the Safe button. In ten seconds, if you don’t do anything, the SOS will be sent and your location will be tracked/monitored constantly. You can cancel the alert in ten seconds.
“By leveraging the devices powerful location services, we're typically able to locate a user in 10 seconds with a 10 meter accuracy and can relay that to their appropriate emergency services,” said Zach Winkler, CEO of SafeTrek Inc. “It's really powerful in situations where people can't talk or don't know where they are. In the event of an emergency, our call center also opens up a line of communication with the user via text message - this allows a user to send additional emergency details without talking.”
There’s nothing more to the app. In its simplicity lies the smartness: you should be able to have complete control over the alert system and it should be very easy to alert the cops. Even if someone grabs your iPhone in the process, the alert will get sent no matter what.