New App Lets Your Friends Virtually Walk You Home At Night In Montreal
Never walk alone again.
Everyone's had the experience, at least once in their life, of having to walk home alone late at night. Chances are you either just embraced being terrified of something happening or, my personal favourite, constantly texted a friend to let them know you're still kicking.
Well now you no longer have to do either of those things, thanks to the Companion app. Created by students at the University of Michigan, it lets a friend or family member track where you are via GPS, and virtually walk you home. Before you begin your walk, you can send out requests to multiple people in your contacts, which then sends them an SMS message with a hyperlink that takes them to a web page with a map showing them where you are. Since the GPS map is run through a website, they don't even need to have the app installed - you can send the requests to anyone.
If you go off your path, start running, fall, get pushed, or have your headphones pulled out of your phone, the app detects this and will ask you if you're okay. You then have 15 seconds to confirm that you are. If you're unable to confirm, the app will begin playing loud alarm sounds as well as give you the option to instantly call the police. It will also send an alert to the person keeping you company and give them the option to call the police and provide them with your exact location. The app is available for both Android and iOS.
While the app may seem a little extreme to some, as a girl who's had to walk home late at night by myself many a time, either from a friend's house or from the library during exams, it's not always the best feeling in the world. Knowing that a friend is looking out for you and keeping track of where you are will definitely give a little peace of mind.