By Shadya Jarecke –
Along with the inventions of smart phones and watches, come revolutionary apps. Companion is an app that makes walking home alone obsolete. With Companion, you will never ever be alone. Friends and family will be virtually walking beside you every step of the way until you safely arrive at your destination. This app offers peace of mind for the user and companions.
Companion allows users a chance to share their location and destination with any of their contacts. The app provides a map and monitors the user’s location as they travel. The design is very similar to Google Maps. One of the unique aspects of Companion is that the contacts chosen by the user do not need to have the app downloaded to be a companion and follow the user’s footsteps. Contacts are simply given a link in a text which supplies them with the map. Another cool tool available on Companion is users are able to have more than one companion on every walk. A user could have his or her entire posse accompanying the walk.
Safety is the goal of this app. Due to this, an “I Feel Nervous” and “Call Police” button are present on the homescreen map. The “I Feel Nervous” button alerts companions that the user feels uncomfortable. It also forwards anonymous data to the local police department, notifying them of areas in Billings that may need attention. The “Call Police” button does exactly that. It calls the police and shares your location with them.
In the app there is also a “smart trigger.” Business Insider defines a smart trigger in this way: “If the user strays off their path, falls, is pushed, starts running, or has their headphones yanked out of their phone, the app detects these changes in movement and asks the user if they’re OK.” If the user does not respond within fifteen seconds, the app morphs the us- er’s phone to a personal alarm system. The phone will project loud noises and immediately call 9-1-1.
This app is a must have for any college student. It is available for Apple and Android devices. It is important to remain alert and smart when traveling alone, even with Companion. Theo Manazer, Director of Campus Safety at RMC, believes that campus security may begin to use Compan- ion to help escort students on campus. For more information regarding campus safety call 406-238-7293.