Since the Nirbhaya mishap, the android store has been flooded with safety apps. Search for safety apps and you will find at least a score of apps that claim to be the very best. But looking at most of the apps, I ponder over two questions:
- Are app development companies doing it for a social cause?
- Are they really gonna make a difference?
The answer to first question is pretty obvious – NO! Everyone has seized the ‘personal safety’ frontier to make money.
But the answer to the second question is something that intrigues me. Here is why:
Most of the apps (about 95%) need you to open an app and tap on a button to reach out for help. But when you are in some grave danger (god forbid), will you have all the time in the world to:
- Search for the app on the homescreen
- Open the app
- And then tap on it?
If YES then either your offender is one big lousy, inexperienced or you will be really lucky!
The mechanism to call for help or inform your well wishers just in time should be PROMPT and DISCRETE. The offender should not even come to know that you have done something with your device while you send alerts. If he is able to figure it out then you are in for a real horror show.
This is where I think two apps really score well above the rest. One is VithU. You all must have seen actress Kareena Kapoor promoting it. But another app that I feel is slightly better than the rest is SOS – Stay Safe!
Why so? Because I love its technology. Just shake your mobile device beyond a certain threshold sensitivity and alert messages go out to your emergency contacts. The feature of sending out your mobile battery charge status and an audio recording along with the usual shoo-sha of GPS tracking etc. make it a really useful app. The mobile screen does not show a single blink of light when the alerts go out. Isn’t that really cool?
And how much time would it take just a shake your hands in fear? And how suspicious can it be? I think MINIMAL.
Of course all apps are in for money but as long as they solve the primary purpose satisfactorily, they are good to go. Of course these apps will not eradicate the problem of women safety being compromised but they can certainly help a needy get the immediate help she needs at the dead of the night on a lonely road!