Parenting, Relationships, What's On Our Mind

A new app let’s your friends and family ‘virtually’ walk you home

Stacey by Stacey
September 11th, 2015

Australia is in crisis – and not just a domestic violence crisis. We are constantly hearing about senseless acts that are so tragic they are often hard to believe. Just two days ago Gold Coast mum, Tara Brown, was beaten to beyond recognition by her ex-partner. We will never forget the horrific crime that took Jill Meagher’s life, or the man who was let out on bail and murdered mother-of-two Jodi Eaton. And the list goes on…and it often leaves you thinking, what can we do to feel more safe and more importantly have freedom to do what we want, when we want. Then I saw the launch of this incredible app.

With technology has come increased awareness of the dangers that surround us, but it also allows incredibly brilliant people to combat those dangers and make our world a little safer. A new app called ‘Companion app’ created by five university students in Michigan enables users to request a friend or family member to keep them company virtually while they walk home.Your loved ones can track your journey home via GPS on an online map. And better yet, your loved one doesn’t even need to have the ‘Companion app’ to do this with you.

The user can send out multiple requests to different phone contacts in case they are not sure who is available. The people contacted receive a text message with a hyperlink that sends them to a web page with an interactive map showing the user walking to their destination. And listen to this, if they stray off the path, fall, are pushed, start running or have their headphones yanked out of their phone – the app detects the changes in movement and asks the user if they’re ok. If the user is ok, they can press a button to confirm within 15 seconds. If they don’t push the button the Companion app transforms the user’s phone into a personal alarm system that projects loud noises and also gives the option to instantly call the police.

Although the companion following you home can’t see you – they can make sure you’re on track and nothing out of ordinary is happening. I know for absolute sure that my parents would have been all over this when we were young and YES, my paranoid self will be all over this with my kids when they are old enough to walk the streets alone (which right now is looking like 40-years-old).

The increased anxiety associated with the basic day-to-day things we do is always a topic of conversation with my family and friends. We are forever asking ourselves if we need to ‘let go’ of certain things and are we ‘helicopter parenting’. The constant evaluation of the day and its circumstance is bloody exhausting. But I know one thing for sure, my little condition that I lovingly call ‘safety paranoia’ just took a sigh of relief for all those people worried walking home at night alone and the potential for parents to have piece of mind when their kids want to venture out and do something, well…normal.

Bravo to these uni students – we are digging on this HARD! Check out this awesome ad to show you how it works.

For more info visit Companion

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