John South, a former federal contractor and current owner of a company called Patrocinium Systems, has launched a new public safety and security app called ArcAngel on November 19th. This application can alert its users of severe weather conditions, shooting, explosions and other safety issues in their area. It can also notify the user’s loved ones about the person’s status in case of a drastic event in their area. The app currently has a basic (which costs $4.99 a month) and a premium (which sells for $19.99 a month) option. The premium version acts as an alternative to a 9-1-1 hotline but for less severe situations. South explains an example of a situation when the premium version may be used:
Say you’re a traveler overseas and need to contact an embassy or consulate; ArcAngel can connect you by phone and provide directions there. Or perhaps you’re an intoxicated college student and too embarrassed to call for help; ArcAngel can assist you in getting to safety. It’s an insurance policy.”
ArcAngel detects possible threats by tracking the user’s location. If a dire situation occurs, the app will ask the user whether he/she is safe. If that is not the case, the app can provide guidelines on how to get to safety and will also contact local law enforcement.The app is currently available for iPhone, Android and Microsoft devices and to companies and universities as well.
Facebook recently release a similar iOS and Android feature called “Safety Check” as well. Safety Check uses Facebook’s location tracking features and allows the user to notify friends and family through their Facebook profile whether they are alright by confirming via their phones that they are safe.
Because phone lines tend to be inoperable during times of great chaos and disasters, it is important to be aware of new features like these which can make communication in a crisis situation easier. However, it is important to emphasize that although mobile security devices are an excellent tool for improving public safety, they should not serve as a replacement for traditional forms of communication.
Red more here – “Federal Contractor Turned Entrepreneur Creates Public Safety App for Smartphones,” (Steven Overly, The Washington Post).