Walking home long after the sun has set can be scary at times – even for the toughest young professional (YP).
Personally, I usually take the opportunity to call a friend, boyfriend, or mom – just in case.
But now, there’s an app instead.
Created by five students from the University of Michigan, The Companion is a free personal-safety mobile app that allows friends to virtually walk you home at night.
Now, your friend, family member, or significant other (SO) can keep you company virtually and track your journey home (compete with the late-night pizza stop) via GPS on an online map. The other person doesn’t even have to download the app.
Here’s how it works: the user can send out several requests to different contacts in case people aren’t available (it could be 1am, after all). Those contacted will receive an SMS text message that includes a hyperlink to a webpage with an interactive map that shows the user walking to their destination.
If the user strays off their path, falls, is pushed, starts running, or has their headphones yanked out of their phone, the app detects the changes in movement and asks the user if they’re okay. If the user is ok, he or she presses a button to confirm so within 15 seconds.
If the button isn’t pressed or a real emergency is occurring, the app transforms the user’s phone into a personal alarm system that emits a loud noise to scare off criminals and other unwanted company. It also gives you the option to instantly call the police.
At the same time, the app will send an alert to your designated contact and that person can choose to call the police and give them your location. They can also call you to find out if you are okay.
On top of calling the police and alerting their chosen companion, users can also choose an “I am nervous” option, which tells the app where and when they feel unsafe.
The app is available for both Android and iOS. And it sounds like one hell of a good idea.