A New Safety App for Solo Travelers
And everyone else! I first heard about Companion a month or two ago on Tech Insider and finally got around to checking it out.
Originally geared toward college students who might not feel comfortable walking, driving, or taking public transportation home alone late at night, the Companion app allows the user to input their destination and select a friend or friends to monitor their progress home.
The user can indicate areas where they don’t feel entirely safe and call the police at any minute with one click.
The user’s friends are sent a text message with a link to track their friend’s progress in real time (they don’t need to have the app installed on their phone), including any points where a user reports feeling nervous.
The app also apparently has sensors to track other signs of possible danger:
The app can detect when your trip’s ETA starts getting longer than it should be, or if you suddenly start going the wrong way on the map. It can also see if you start running with your iPhone or if you get pushed over. Another trigger the app recognizes is if your headphones get yanked out.
This is definitely an improvement on my old school ways which I still use sometimes — calling a friend to “keep me company” and make sure I get back to my car ok when walking through unfamiliar/dark surroundings. An approach both good and bad, since being on the phone means one of my hands were occupied and I might not be distracted from my surroundings.
I will definitely be trying it out on future trips. Would you?
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