A few weeks back, every time I logged onto a social media account platform like Facebook and Twitter or flipped past a news station on the TV, I’d see something about a woman getting harassed.
Most often it was while they were out walking or jogging. Like this Arizona woman who had a man in a pickup truck continue to follow her. Or this Colorado woman who had a stranger expose himself while she was out walking.
The more I looked, the more cases I found of harassment, and the more I became aware of how horrible it must be to have to worry about going for a simple walk or run. This should not be a problem – but it is.
Personal Safety Apps
So, I downloaded a personal safety app on my phone…
And then another…
And then another.
And I did not like any of them. They all required you to open the app and hit a button to alert emergency services and, to me, that was not good enough. It’s 2018! There has to be an app that can detect danger through sounds or phrases. I pictured an app that you opened when out for a jog that would listen for a simple phrase to alert emergency services.
The more I thought about it, the more excited I got. If this wasn’t already an app, I was going to design it and release it. It would be a hit! It would be downloaded a billion times! I’d be rich!
… and then I saw that it had already been designed and launched.
The App I Wish I Created
I may not be the brains behind the personal safety app I imagined, but I am still glad it exists!
It’s called SecretlySafe, and it was founded by Justin Moehringer. I got in touch to congratulate him on designing (what I think is) the best personal safety app on the market and I found out his backstory behind creating the app was similar to the experience I had.
“At the time there were some high-profile cases of women being attacked while jogging, all having in common the fact that they had their cell phone with them but the inability to get to their phones and notify someone that they needed help. That was when I thought voice recognition would be a possible solution to allowing someone to notify others they need help without ever needing physical access to their phones.”
He told me that SecretlySafe was the first and only personal safety app using voice-recognition. Can you believe that?
“Every other personal safety app requires you to physically interact with your phone or set a timer that will only trigger an alert at a later time. This app focuses on your ability to get help as discreetly as possible. You can use your phone like normal while listening mode is turned on and get help by saying your customized 4-6 word phrase, allowing you to get help without others around even being aware of it.”
SecretlySafe is currently available in the U.S. on the Apple App Store, but they plan to grow and expand soon!
“We are always considering other ways to use voice recognition to help with personal safety. We may start integrating third-party safety products to provide a complete personal safety solution with one app.”
What to do?
Well, it’s simple really. Make sure you, your significant other, your friends, family and anyone else has a personal safety app on their phone. You never know what will happen and when you’ll need it.
You know how the old saying goes: “Safety first!”
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