I saw this app a little while ago, and had one of those ‘that’s such a good idea, why hasn’t anyone done it before?!’ moments. I only decided to write about it after a conversation with my roommate who told me that while walking home one night in downtown NYC, she was sending her pinned location to a friend every two minutes or so.
Generally, I am pretty blasé about walking home alone. Probably more so than I should be. There have been occasional times where I have kept a close hold on my phone in case I needed it, but on the whole I’m usually okay.
But you know when you’re at a party, and a friend wants to leave and you want to stay? You know you should be walking them home, so you half heartedly offer, and they wave you down saying ‘no no don’t worry, I’ll be fine’. So you say ‘Okay, If you’re sure – but text me when you get home!’. Despite this, you still feel pretty guilty. This app creates a nice compromise.
You send a request to a friends phone – it could be your roommate, a friend, or your mother half a world away – to walk you home digitally. They don’t even need to have the app installed. Once they accept you get a notification.
They can then see you as a moving dot on their map, and your planned route home. If you stray off your path, fall, are pushed, start running or have your headphones yanked out of your phone, the app detects these changes in movements and asks you if you’re okay.
If you are okay, you can tap the button and keep going. If you’re not, or you don’t respond within 15 seconds,the Companion app transforms your phone into a personal alarm system that projects loud noises to scare criminals from the scene, and gives you the option to instantly call the police.
You also have the option to select an ‘I am nervous’ button in the app, which tells the app where and when they feel unsafe.
A whole load of University campuses have signed up to partner on the app.They can be altered if there is a student in trouble, or needs help.
I think that not only does this app have a great idea, but it is well executed and thought through. There is definitely opportunity for development; perhaps further integration with Universities; for example they may have volunteers at the student campus safety be 24 hour companions for who ever needs one.
Watch the video if you’re interested in seeing more about how it works.