Imagine virtually walking a friend home at night without ever having to leave your house, or remotely accompanying your son or daughter on a trip while they're away at college.
Thanks to a new app called Companion, friends can virtually walk friends home by following their GPS coordinates on a map displayed on their cell phone. The app taps into the phone's built-in sensors to also detect changes in movement. For example, if the walker stops moving or pulls out his or her headphones, the app will alert the companion.
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For extra safety, the app also lets companions call the police if they don't receive confirmation that the walker is okay within 15 seconds of a change in movement. The app will also signal an alert on the walker's phone, displaying siren-like sounds and displaying a button for the walker to call the police.
The app connects walkers to companions when the walker texts a link to the person among his contact list that he's chosen to walk him home virtually. Walkers can also select to send an "I feel nervous" alert to a companion on their list, prompting the companion to follow a route remotely.
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Students at the University of Michigan created the app when searching for a way to feel safer during late-night walks back to their apartments or dorms.
The app, which was launched to the public just two weeks ago, already has more than 500,000 new users. The app's founders plan to roll out more features in the future, including touch-ID technology so that only the walker could hit the "I'm OK" button.
The app has the potential to bring an extra layer of safety to pedestrians in cities and campuses around the world.
via CNN Money