Student Excellence: Safety First
In dangerous situations, a student-developed app is a line of defense.
Many of us have had the feeling of hyper-awareness as we walk in a dark parking lot. Students at the University of Missouri have developed a new smartphone app as a measure of protection in such situations.
The app, called “Safe Trek,” is simple to use: before entering an area where one feels unsafe, users launch the app and touch an onscreen button. When they feel secure again, they release the button and enter a four-digit PIN. In case of an incident, users can release the button early. Ten seconds later, the app automatically alerts local emergency services and tracks the phone’s location.
The benefits extend beyond individual users. As a complement, the students developed a dashboard for local law enforcement. The dashboard tracks areas where the app is used, giving police the ability to map out possible danger zones and adjust patrol routes.
The app was developed by students from business, journalism, and computer science as part of the MU Reynolds Journalism Institute’s 2013 RJI Student Competition, and it was featured in the 2013 RJI Tech Showcase. It is available for download on iPhone and Android devices.
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