App gets users home safe
JOHN EDENS IN QUEENSTOWN
A Queenstown entrepreneur has launched a smartphone app that monitors users' outdoor activities to ensure they get home safe.
The "Get Home Safe" app is the brainchild of Boyd Peacock and Dunedin-based website and design company Firebrand.
It is aimed at the general public to monitor everyday activities such as walking home from school, mountain biking or working unsupervised.
Once the app is installed on a smartphone, the user registers their itinerary.
The app then records GPS location data and uses check-in prompts to monitor the user's movement.
If the user does not stop or continue as planned, then the app sends an alarm to pre-selected personal emergency contacts.
The alarm is raised via the app's servers so users do not need a working cellphone or network coverage.
Peacock said the app could save lives.
"This app has been designed to be so simple, quick, private and free to use.
"Get Home Safe 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."
It was potentially invaluable for boating, tramping, fishing, kayaking or back country skiing, he said, and could be used to complement traditional personal locator beacons.
He was working with the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council and hoped the app would be made an approved provider.
The council runs the AdventureSmart website, working with search and rescue agencies, safety organisations and the Government to help people safely plan their outdoor activities.
Council chief executive Darryl Carpenter said he was impressed with the potential and accessibility of the app.
"Get Home Safe will provide a valuable safety service for outdoor enthusiasts and there are clearly possibilities for other activities in everyday life," Mr Carpenter said.
The app is available to download from today at the Apple iTunes New Zealand store.
- The Southland Times