Talk about a false sense of security.
Cosmopolitan: No matter how safe your neighborhood or college campus is, walking home at night can be scary, especially if you’re a woman. The International Business Times reports that tens of thousands of people have downloaded Companion, an app that lets you walk alone while a friend is keeping an eye on you.
Five students at the University of Michigan built the app to help college students feel safer on campus. “Back at school in Ann Arbor, it seems like we get a crime alert email nearly every other day,” the creators wrote in a blog post. “While we brush them off most of the time, they are always a bit spooky.” They write that their classmates have already come up with a solution, calling friends while walking home, or texting them to be worried if they don’t hear back in 10 minutes. There are several apps that “check in” with you every so often, but there wasn’t one that could check on your safety in real time.
With their app, all you have to do is enter your location and your destination, and select a friend to be a “companion.” That friend can see your location as you walk home. The app can detect if you wander off your path, if you suddenly start running, or your headphones get pulled out; if that happens, the app will send you an alert. If you don’t respond to the app’s check-in alerts within 15 seconds, your “companion” will be notified and your phone will start making loud noises. You can hit an “I am nervous” button to report where you feel unsafe to campus safety officials, and if anything goes wrong, you can easily tap a button to call the police.
I prefer this “app” to make me feel safer.