Especially for the ladies…
Concern about safety of women across India has gained prominence like never before in the wake of the horrendous Delhi gang rape case and subsequently focus has been shifted on creating a circle of safety for women in the country. Technology being ubiquitous stands ready to become woman’s best friend at her hour of need. Gigjets gives you the low-down on the top apps available that aim to protect you from violent crime when you are out there on your own.
Circle of 6
Circle of 6, winner of the White House’s “Apps against Abuse” technology challenge was initially developed, for iOS, for college students to prevent acts of violence on campus. Now available on Android, the app lets you add six trusted friends to your emergency circle. In case you find yourself in a dangerous situation, use Circle of 6 to send a pre-programmed SMS to your pre-set contacts. The only drawback of this app is that it requires one to enter all 6 contacts else it’s rendered unusable.
FightBack launched by an NGO WhyPoll was initially a paid app but following the Delhi gang rape case it is now available for free. This app can be downloaded to any phone with BlackBerry, Android and Symbian mobile operating systems and uses GPS, SMS, GPRS , email and your Facebook account to inform your loved ones in case you are in any danger.When the panic button is pressed on the mobile application, the web portal page gets updated with the alert and the location of the alert is found on Google Maps. The portal sends out emergency SMS messages to contact numbers that have been pre-set by the user. There also exists the option of having one’s Facebook status updated on clicking the alert button. The status will be visible to all the user’s Facebook friends and will direct them to the portal page that will point out the exact location of the mobile user when the alarm was raised. The developers soon plan to launch an equivalent facility for non smartphone users.
The bSafe app, developed for Android, BlackBerry and iOS , is simple and easy to use with a big SOS button in the center. Once the emergency contacts, called guardians, are provided by the user, the app functions independently once the panic button is pressed. The guardians get an SMS stating that the user is in an emergency followed by another SMS that provides the GPS location of the cellphone. A bonus feature of this app is the ‘fake call’ wherein users can program the app to make a call to the phone after a stipulated period of time in case of being followed or simply as an escape from a boring rendezvous.
me Against Rape
This app , developed by three engineers based out of Nashik, works on a similar pattern whereby the user can send an SMS to a pre-allotted number. In addition the app keeps sending updates about the location of the mobile user every ten minutes making tracking easy. In addition it offers a one touch recording to collect evidence.
Life360 Family Locator
Using GPS tracking technology , this app lets you find family members on a private map, see recent crimes nearby, know when your family members are in trouble and receive alerts when family members reach specific locations. This app ranks among the best in emergency situations. When the panic button is pressed it sends an SOS to family members through email, SMS or app notification if the other family member has the app as well.
Unlike other apps, SOS Whistle does not send out emergency sms . This simple yet extremely effective app triggers a loud whistle and draws the attention of people around you to the danger you may be in. The whistle sounds even if the phone is on silent mode and the app does not require GPS or data connection.