Have you been scared of coming back home alone at night? Do you tend to look over your shoulder when walking on a secluded lane? If you are a woman in India, chances are high that your answers would be ‘yes’. Feeling uncomfortable and unsafe in the public spaces is not something uncommon in our country. Women can now turn to technology to help feel a bit safer. Several apps have been designed focusing especially on women’s safety. We take a look at some of these apps and what they do to help you lead a safer life. All the apps mentioned here are free on Android.
VithU: “I am in danger. I need help. Please follow my location,” is the message which will be sent to the saved contacts on this app if the user presses the power button twice consecutively. The message will be sent every two minutes, along with the link to the user’s updated location. The user can also look for safety tips on the “Tips Feed” section.
Eyewatch Women: In situations like assault, road rage, accidents, lonely places, personal security threats, among others, this app sends out emergency alerts, locations, audios, visuals, along with other details to the contacts saved with the app. It uses GPRS, GPS and 3G for figuring out and sending the information. It sends SOS alert if the device is not connected to GPRS. When the user hits the alert button on the app, the phone camera will automatically start to make a video of 20 seconds or take five photographs and they are sent to the app’s secure server. It automatically calls up to three people who are saved with the app. On receiving the alert, the concerned people can check all the detailed information on the Eyewatch Alert Dashboard and take necessary steps to save the user.
TellTail: The Delhi Multimodal Transport System launched this app for the purpose of women safety in the capital. It has three features, namely – Track Me, Track by Vehicle and Panic Button. With Track by Vehicle button, the users can share their location by using the GPS installed in autos, buses or other public transportation in the city. Track Me button can be used by the GPS on the user’s smartphone. There are three ways by which alerts can be sent to the ‘concerned’ people: The user can open the app and press the panic button; With the setting on, the user has to click the power button three times to activate the alarm; User can also shake the phone with a jerk three times to set off the alarm, setting needs to be turned on for this also. The receivers also need to have the app installed. They will receive an alarm, in case the GPS on the user’s phone is not turned on, it will still send a cellular code to figure out the tentative location. If the internet on user’s phone is off and GPS is on, SMS will still be sent which can be reverse geocoded if receiver’s phone has an internet connection.
Safetipin: This map-based application lets users rate, share information and bring about a discussion on the safety of different locations. It basically helps users in checking the safety of any location. There are certain set of parameters, on the basis of which a safety score is assigned to the locations. Streets and roads are properly lit or not, if the area is deserted, are many women seen on the road or not, the proximity of public transport, are some of the parameters taken into consideration. Safety audits are conducted by the users who have downloaded the app and the Safetipin team. The purpose of this activity is to be able to assess the safety and to generate enough data so that improvement can be brought about. Other feature of the app includes allowing family members or friends to track the user’s real time location.