If the streets of Mumbai don’t seem safe any more, here’s an application that can double up as your bodyguard or police helpline. The I Am Safe mobile app allows users to send SMSes to relatives and friends informing them about their present location and also let them know when they need help.
The new version, which will be launched this week, also allows commuters travelling by taxis and rickshaws to send details like the vehicle’s number and the driver’s name to friends, family and the nearest police station.
"I read about an app on disaster management and I thought ‘why can’t we have something similar in India?’," says Baranikumar S, founder of Mobiwhiz, a mobile solutions company in Chennai that created this app.
He adds that the app was specially designed for women, senior citizens and the blind — members of society who are considered especially vulnerable.
Upon downloading, users need to configure the app and add the names and numbers of contacts they would like to keep in the loop about their location.
A fixed duration, after which the SMS will automatically be sent, also needs to be set. "For instance, you set it at three minutes. Then, every three minutes, after you commence your journey, the app will send out an SMS with your current location to the people listed," he says.
In times of trouble, shaking the phone or pressing any button for an extended duration will also send out an alert SMS. The new version of the app will also allow users be able to send an SMS to their nearest police station.
"We are in talks with the government to support the app," says Baranikumar. The company is also in the process of integrating GPS into the app. Under this service, once you deviate from the right route, you will be alerted, thus making commuting in any city safer.