Kiwi entrepreneur, Boyd Peacock, together with website and design company, Firebrand, have collaboratively created and launched a new app that privately monitors users’ location during an activity and raises a pre-set alarm if they don’t get home safe.
Peacock claimed the app, named Get Home Safe (GHS), is the first of its kind in New Zealand and Australia, and is aimed at people undertaking everyday activities such as children walking home from school alone, women travelling home after a night out and people working unsupervised.
“Who knows you’re walking home late at night from the pub or bus stop, or that you’re driving the back road home this time? This app has been designed to be so simple, quick, private and free to use. I believe people will use it as they go about their day-to-day business,” he said.
Peacock mentioned that the GHS idea was inspired after he read about a boating accident in Southland’s Foveaux Strait in 2012 when a group of fishermen’s boat sank with all their mobile phones and emergency equipment on board.
“I thought to myself, if only someone was monitoring the use and location of a smart phone on board it could have been apparent much earlier that the fishermen had capsized and even where it happened, the alarm could have been raised much earlier,” he said.
All users have to do is register with GHS what they intend on doing, such as walking home after dark, and the time they will be ‘home safe’ via a free smartphone app.
GHS then safely records GPS location data and check-in prompts to privately watch over the user’s movements throughout their chosen activity.
If something unforeseen happens and the user doesn’t stop or extend tracking as planned, an alarm is raised and the information GHS safely recorded is sent to pre-selected personal emergency contacts. As the alarm is sent from the GHS servers, users don’t need a working phone or coverage for the alarm to be raised.
“The neutrality of GHS provides a guardian for the activities in life that may carry a small element of risk giving people reassurance that their actions are being privately monitored should anything unforeseen happen,” Peacock said.
Working with the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, GHS is also going through the final stages of becoming an approved provider of outdoor intentions.
“We hope to become one of the listed organisations on www.adventuresmart.org.nz website in the next few weeks” Peacock said. .
AdventureSmart is a website developed by the NZ Mountain Safety Council in collaboration with search and rescue agencies, safety organisations and Government to enable people to safely plan their outdoor activities.
The app is free to download from the Apple New Zealand App Store from August 5 and it is free in the email alert only format. It will be rolled out into the New Zealand Google Play store for Android users late August and then internationally in coming months.
Within the app, users can also choose to buy pre-paid text messages for 50 cents each, with a minimum purchase of $NZ2.59, and use the text alert method. Unused text alerts are credited back to users if they check in on time.