Monday, February 4, 2013

Your Smart Phone could be your Hero in a dangerous situation

This seems like such a good application for a smart phone, I want to share it.
From the Northern Nevada Business Weekly, issue Monday, February 4, 2013.

Entrepreneur: Smartphones
can protect against assaults

A Reno entrepreneur with a mission to protect
women and children is trying to turn
smartphones into virtual body guards.
Arm Safety Button is an application and
service for iPhone and Android-based smartphones
that once triggered automatically sets
off an alarm, takes a rapid series of photos of
an assailant, projects a blinding light and places
a call to 911.
A woman, for example,walking alone in a
parking lot at night can turn on the application,
which then starts tracking the phone and its
users’ exact location via GPS. That’s all the
application does until it is turned off or activated
by sliding the large application icon on the
phone screen. Once launched, the photos and
location data is automatically sent to a hosted
database where it is stored and can be later
used as evidence, says Johnny Landers, founder
and chief executive officer of Arm Safety
Landers came up with the idea for the system
after his daughter, 13 years old at the time,
was raped by a neighbor. In the aftermath, he
learned that many of the country’s 911 centers
are not sophisticated enough to track the location
of cell phones. (Emergency response systems
are in the process of upgrading to receive
text, data, video and images from mobile
phones under a federal initiative called Next
Generation 911.)
“I kept thinking about what I could do to
help.The police told me they gave free phones
to (abused) women to call 911, but it was just a
Band-Aid,” says Landers.“So I started thinking
about their phones.Why couldn’t the phone be
a lifeline?”
That sparked the idea behind Arm Safety
Button. Landers hired a code developer to create
the application and began marketing it,
mostly through social media such as Twitter
and his Web site,
About 125 people have downloaded the
application but none have yet had to use it in
an emergency. The application and service is
$9.95 a month, or $90 annually. Landers provides
it free of charge to abuse victims in shelters.
Landers marketing and mission don’t end
there.He is also hosting a weekly radio show
called The Village on, a
community radio Web site.On it, he focuses on
issues he cares about, including a recent show
on the Reno-based Committee to Aid Abused
Women and another on Quest Counseling, in
Reno, which specializes in substance abuse
counseling for adolescents.

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