Women Everywhere Can Feel Safer Walking Home, Thanks To This New App
If you don’t respond within 15 seconds, your companions will be notified.
At one time or another, you made the conscious decision to walk home by yourself—even if it was against your better judgement. Sure, taking an Uber would suffice, but who wants to spend money when you live so close to the bar you were at? Finally, there’s an app that provides you and your loved ones the peace of mind of knowing that you got home safely.
Three University of Michigan students created an app that lets your friends and family virtually walk you home. Companion is a free, peer-to-peer safety app that sends a live feed of your current GPS location to anyone of the contacts in your phone—it literally sends updates about your journey from point A to point B. Conveniently enough, your friend doesn’t need to have the app in order to track your whereabouts as long as their GPS is working.
The app uses your phone’s movement-tracking capabilities to make sure you’re safe. If for some reason your pace speeds up, your headphones are suddenly ripped out of your phone or you are no longer on your path, the app will ask if you’re okay—you have 15 seconds to confirm you’re fine.
If you don’t confirm you’re safe, the phone will then act as an alarm to (hopefully) scare off an attacker. It will also give you an option to call the police. Simultaneously, your companion receives updates about your journey and is prompted to either call the police for you (with your location on hand) or to call and make sure you’re okay.
Since its creation, Companion has paired with universities across the United States. At those schools, the app alerts the campus safety department if a student is in danger. Although the app was initially created with college students in mind, adults started using the app as a way to keep track of elderly family members. Overall, the app provides additional peace of mind no matter how you choose to use it.
Companion is available for both Apple and Android devices.