New Companion app makes sure user never walks home alone

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KATIE GRAFTON

IDR Editor

 

   Many people will have to walk home or to their car alone at night at least once in their lives. The new Companion app makes sure that their users will never have to walk home alone.

    According to Gallup’s Annual Crime survey (conducted in Oct. 2010), nearly four out of 10 Americans are afraid to walk home alone at night within one mile of their home.”

    This app was created by five students at the University of Michigan with a similar goal, to ensure safety for people, primarily students, walking home alone to their home or their dorm building.

    The way this app works is that, the user downloads it and adds ‘companions’ from their phone’s contact list.  A user doesn’t even have to have the app downloaded.  While the user is one their journey home, the companion can track their journey to make sure that they get home safe.

    The companion on the other side, while watching their friends movement can use the app to call their friend if they need to ask them if they’re okay. If the user begins to run faster or the headphones fall out, the app will ask the user if they are all right, if they don’t respond within 15 seconds it will notify the companion and ask them if they would like to call the police. While this is happening, the user’s phone will also display a button asking if they would like to call the police at the same time, will go into alert mode and emit sirens.

    According to app developers, this app has been most prevalent on college campuses and in city areas. It is also popular for parents could even use this app to make sure that their children get to wherever they’re going safely, according to developers.

    “I think that this app is a great idea,” says  mathematics department chair Jacqueline Velcenbach “I think that every college student should have it.”

    Some colleges, like Towson University have their own app called TUsafety, that will direct students to campus police if they are ever feeling unsafe walking. While college safety apps can help assist students while on campus, many students may still not feel safe while off campus in their own home-town.

    “While on campus, my TUsafety app helps assure me that I will be safe walking home, while I’m home, where that app won’t be as efficient, I feel like the Companion app will assure my friends and family that I’m safe while travelling somewhere,” claims Towson sophomore and SGA senator Helen Grafton. That is where the Companion app comes into place.

    Co founder of the Companion app, Lexie Ernst, claims that on college campuses, “many people aren’t even aware that their school has a campus safety department. In future, people can specify what makes them nervous and why, and we hope to open a dialogue between campus safety departments and students.”

 

 

 

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New Companion app makes sure user never walks home alone