Five students from the University of Michigan have created an app that allows people who are walking alone to be tracked by friends and family until they safely reach their destination.
Using GPS technology, Companion App sends out a user’s location and destination information to anyone they chose on their contact list. If the contact accepts, they are shown a map of the user’s route which allows them to chart the user’s progress in real time. They also receive confirmation when the user safely reaches their destination.
In addition to allowing others to track a user’s location, the app is also able to detect abnormalities such as a user falling, being pushed, straying off course, or having their headphones ripped from the jack. If any of these issues are detected, the user is given 15 seconds to respond. If no response is given, the app will notify the user’s contacts that something is wrong, and will blast emergency alarms from the phone’s speakers.
So far, “tens of thousands of people around the world” are using the app.
“Both men and women from all demographics have emailed us saying they’d love to use the app,” Lexie Ernst, cofounder of the Companion app, told IBT. “Lots of parents want to use the app for their children, and some people want their elderly parents to use it, too, to make sure they don’t get lost.”
According to IBT, the app’s creators are working with universities around the country to integrate the product with campus police as well as local law enforcement agencies.