Companion App lets you reach out to family, friends, or police department to have them keep an eye on you as you travel late at night. “The app strives to keep people feeling safe and secure in situations that they may be feeling unsafe or uneasy,” said Lexie Ernst, co-founder of the Companion app.
Q: How did you get the idea to create Companion app?
– As five college students, our co-founders felt the need for this app. Crime is so prevalent on college campuses and we often felt uneasy while we walked on campus alone at night. We believed that creating this app could serve as an effective solution to the uneasiness/fear we were too often feeling.
Q: What's the main point of it?
– Companion allows you to virtually walk your family and friends home late at night. The app strives to keep people feeling safe and secure in situations that they may be feeling unsafe or uneasy. In addition, Companion is able to provide a direct link between users and local police departments in order to prevent serious crime.
Q: How does it work?
– All a user has to do is input their destination, add a few "Companions" from their contact list, and the app handles the rest. If a user goes off route, doesn't make it to their destination on time, falls, starts running or has their headphones yanked out, Companion checks in to make sure the user is okay. If a user does not respond within 15 seconds, the contacts they selected are notified to check in on them. There is also a "I Feel Nervous" button that allows a user to manually alert their contacts that they are feeling unsafe, and we hope to use this data to work with public safety departments in order to make certain areas more secure for the future. Users also have the ability to directly contact the police from within the app with a "Call Police" button.
Q: What does the future hold for your app?
– We are going to adapt it to Apple Watch. It will have an additional trigger: heart rate monitor will be used to detect a user's spiked level of nervousness during a walk. Also, there will be an option to quickly reach out to police feeling nervous without taking phone out.