A friend need not walk you home at night. Since the Nirbhaya gang rape in December 2012, many mobile applications for personal safety have become available and new ones are entering app stores every month.
The basics of most apps are similar — a user-decided list of emergency contacts to alert, and transmission of GPS-determined location — but the newer ones are easier to use, almost intuitive. Where the early apps required the user to punch a few buttons to raise an alarm, new ones make full use of phone hardware, and can be set to trigger with a scream or a vigorous shake.
Some apps even ring a fake incoming call to unsettle an assailant while others activate the phone camera to record photosvideos and transmit these with the alerts. Here are some personal safety apps and the claims they make:
1. SmartShehar Woman Safety Shield Protection
Allows you to take a picture. Hit the emergency button and the picture along with the location will go to a pre-decided list of emergency contacts.
Don’t worry if you lose the phone before sending — the app will automatically send the information within a few seconds.
The “Walk With Me“ feature will allow those on your list to track your movements in real time.
Activated using the phone’s power button, it sends the message ‘I am in danger. I need help. Please follow my location’ to emergency contacts every two minutes with updated location.
3. Suspects Registry — For Women
This one also tracks location. Hitting the panic alarm notifies emergency contacts of latest location along with a minute’s recording of it. The “Record Any Incident“ feature uploads image to the app’s Facebook page.The idea is to store information remotely.
4. Scream Alarm!
It screams in a woman’s voice — no more, no less.
5. bSafe — Share Locations
Let emergency contacts follow you through a live GPS trail; set a timed alarm that goes off if you haven’t ‘checked in’; make your phone ring with a fake call; the alert notifies emergency contacts with location, video, even siren.
6. Pukar — A Personal Safety App
Sends SMS alert with GPS location to preset emergency contacts at regular intervals. Ensures the phone itself doesn’t draw attention by making it silent and dimming the screen.
7. Women Safety Help Totem SOS
Lets you chose a mode according to perceived level of danger. Use ‘green’ when you feel safe, ‘yellow’ when you are not sure and red in an emergency.
Red mode lets you dial 100, transmit location, take photo every 10 seconds and record audio. Yellow mode only transmits GPS location at intervals fixed by user.
8. Raksha — Women Safety Alert
Send location alert to emergency contacts even without switching on the app by pressing volume button. Can also dial 100 and sends SMS where there is no mobile internet.
9. iGoSafely — Personal Safety App
Once activated, it alerts your contacts if you shake the phone vigorously or unplug the headphones. Emails and or text messages are sent with GPS location. Updates go out every minute till the app is disarmed. Each alert message includes your GPS position, street address (if available) and a 30-second audio recording.
10. Smart 24×7
Panic alert notifies emergency contacts; it records voices and takes photographs during the panic situation and transfers these to police. There’s a call centre and the user’s primary contact can track movements.
11. Women Safety Secured
The app recognizes shouting and crying as distress signals and sends text messages to emergency contacts with location.
12. Nirbhaya: Be Fearless
The app sends an alert to pre-added contacts with the user’s location. The user can choose to send the alert in the form of an SOS message, phone call or a Facebook post.
The app also provides the user with the option of sending an alert by just shaking their phone in a situation of emergency. It also sends user’s location to chosen contacts every two hours and after 300 meter change in position.
This safety app provides users with features like GPS tracking, directions to safe locations and pins showing safe and unsafe areas on the map.
Apart from the basic SOS feature of contacting the user’s friends and family in emergency situations and letting them track the users, the app has a number of other features.
Safetipin is also available in Hindi, Bahasa and Spanish, besides English.
14. Circle of 6
To use Circle of 6 lets the user has to add six trusted friends to add to their ‘circle’.After which, if they find themselves in a risky situation, they can use Circle of 6 to automatically send their circle a pre-programmed SMS alert message, with their exact location.
Circle of 6 can also be used to call two pre-programmed national hotlines or local emergency numbers in critical situations.
15. Being Safe
In a situation of distress, the user can use this app to inform contacts about their location. But the difference is, there is no limit to the number of contacts that can be alerted with this app. Also, besides the pre-added contacts, other users of the app in certain area range will be informed.
Source : 15 personal safety apps for women, TNN ( http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/slideshow/15-personal-safety-apps-for-women/itslideshowviewall/45431568.cms )