June 20, 2014

How Text Messaging Is Helping Victims Of Violence

Watch Over MeScreen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.09.27 PM.png Watch Over Me is an ingenious app that turns the smartphone into a emergency alert system. It's just the latest mobile tool that is helping people reach out for help when they need it. Fastcompany reports.

quotemarksright.jpgSince launching a year ago on iOS and Android, Watch Over Me has attracted 140,000 users all over the world, with the majority so far located in Southeast Asia.

The premise is easy to understand: When a user feels worried about her safety, she sets the app to check in on her in a specified time period--say in the 30 minutes it will take to walk home late at night or drive home in a nasty storm. At 30 minutes, Watch Over Me pings the user three times at one-minute intervals. If the person doesn't respond, it sends an SMS or email with her current location to designated emergency contacts, who can then decide whether to notify the police (the SMS feature requires a monthly fee). On Android devices, it’ll also activate the phone’s camera and take a 10 second audio and video clip.

Watch Over Me, built on Twilio's SMS platform, adds to a growing number of mobile services that help people reach out when they are in need of help.quotesmarksleft.jpg

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