It’s late at night and you are heading home after a night out or you’ve just come out of the library. The area you have to pass through is slightly dodgy but you put your head down, walk quickly and pray that no one bothers you.
Thanks to a group of young people in the United States, an app has now been developed which lets students have a friend who will digitally walk them through the streets on such nights when they need a bit of company.
The group of 5 young people, who are from the University of Michigan, made up their mind to take action and create the Companion app after they started receiving a lot of crime alerts from staff which warned them about robberies, assault and rape happening on campus.
After having engaged in computer science internships, the group got together to resolve the problem after winning $20,000 in a campus business challenge. Although there are similar apps on the market, they were saddened to see that none of them particularly targeted students – and that is where the Companion app came in.
The Companion app is really easy to use. Students plug in their destination then choose their mode of transportation. Then they add family or friends to be their companion – and these people do not even have to have the app installed so that they can watch – and the police or other contacts can be reached with just a tap.
Should the user feel unsafe at any time, there is an ‘I Feel Nervous’ button that lets them send an alert to their contacts. Generally, if students set off a smart trigger, the Companion app checks to ensure that they are alright, and if there is no response within 15 seconds, the contact is alerted and an alarm goes off to ward off a potential attacker.