The app was designed by Amnesty International in the hope to be able to better assist human rights defenders in cases of emergency or distress. The hope being to help their colleagues or even journalists in dangerous situations when it is most needed. The first few hours from abduction or arrest are the most crucial and this app allows their colleagues to be found.
It goes without saying that this app is a must for anyone who owns a mobile phone, which is everyone in our technology driven age. You never really think you need such an app until something happens and you wished you did. The increase in crime and kidnappings has forced us to think smart about how to get out of bad situations.
The app itself is easy to download and install. When opened for the first time you immediately begin your set up. It starts with identifying the three people who you would call out to in the case of an emergency. It is advised to ensure they are aware of you having this app and what to do when receiving the distress signal. Once adding in the contacts you can now begin to test to make sure that all the signals work correctly on the phone. The panic button can be pushed either on the screen or by the power button on the side.
The app is designed in such a clever way that once you have completed the setup it automatically disguises itself as a calculator on your phone menu. This ensures that even in the worst case scenario where your attacker takes your phone away from you, there will be no sign of you having sent a distress call.
What happens is that when you repetitively tap on the calculator buttons or power button, your distress signal is sent immediately to your contacts. This is in the form of a text message that is sent to the three contacts given when you set up the app. You can even go as far as to add in what you want the message to say or perhaps specific code words you have shared with your contacts. The message will also give your GPS co-ordinates of the last place recorded which is extremely handy in a bad situation.
The only flaw in design is not with the app itself but with android phones in general that are touch sensitive. I know that I cannot be the only one in the world who has made a few pocket dial calls by having my phone in my pocket or handbag. With most android phones and the slide lock this is not easy to avoid. It will only be a matter of time until you start hearing some stories about people getting false distress signals.
Overall this panic button app is a genius idea and will surely save many lives, especially for those who work in dangerous environments. The design concept is simple and easy to use without any added unnecessary features. You can have that chance to call for help when you really need it.
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