There REALLY is an app for everyone

Last week I posted an article about an app being developed to help undocumented immigrants, specifically in Arizona, notify their family and attorney that they've been arrested. Lest this blog be judged neither fair nor balanced, here's an app for those in the other 49 states.

iWitness: A new iPhone app that looks to stop crime in its tracks

It’s happened to all of us. You’re walking alone and you get that creepy feeling that someone is watching or tracking your movements. You feel unsafe, and you’re not sure what to do, so you clutch your mobile phone.

Greg Heuss wants to turn that fear into a situation of empowerment with iWitness, an iPhone application that not only quickly notified 911 but records audio and video of the events taking place. The Seattle upstart, which plans to release the iPhone app in the next 30 days, has been flying under the radar for a bit now. But the company, which just landed $600,000 in seed capital, is starting to share more of what it’s up to.

Heuss shared the idea behind iWitness with GeekWire, noting that the application was built by early pioneers in the e-911 sector.

Here’s how it works.

“Any time the user feels endangered, the user simply touches the screen of their phone,” explains Heuss, who previously worked at PerfectMatch and EyeAlike. “At that point, the phone begins capturing video and audio of the scene … a steady light is emitted from the phone, and the user’s GPS coordinates are recorded. If a “threat” feels imminent, the user touches the screen again, triggering the following: 911 is called, an SMS/email notice is sent to six contacts previously authorized by the user, and a loud siren begins to sound.” The iWitness iPhone app costs $30 per year, with the company planning to work on an Android version and its own standalone device that could be provided to children or seniors who don’t own smartphones.

“The space is wide open, the team is assembled, and the technology is built,” says Heuss, adding that focus groups, including those with law enforcement agencies, have responded positively to the concept.

“No one out there is using video and audio in an app like this so we separate ourselves immediately there,” said Heuss, adding that they plan to market the application to women.

“It is tough for males to really understand the “fear” that exists out there with women. My wife, for example, calls me every night for those 30 seconds she is walking across the parking lot to her car from her office – just so people know she is talking to someone. Gals in our office actually dial 911 on their phone and walk to the bus stop with their finger on the call button until they safely get on the bus.”

Via http://www.geekwire.com/2012/iwitness-stop-crime-tracks



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About Jeff M. Fischbach

http://www.twitter.com/FischTech Jeff Michael Fischbach is founder and President of SecondWave Information Systems (SecondWave.com), a consulting firm specializing in Forensic Technology. Since 1994, he has served as a board member and technology adviser to numerous professional organizations and corporations. Mr. Fischbach has been engaged as a litigation consultant and Forensic Examiner, offering expert advice and oversight on matters involving intellectual property, computers, information systems, satellite, tracking and wireless communications technologies. He has advised law enforcement, foreign government representatives, judges, lawyers and the press.
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