According to an article on Face2Face Africa, 3 Kenyatta University students have developed an app that acts as a panic button for those in danger. After surviving a robbery where Edwin Inganji lost his mobile phone and laptop, he thought up an app that could save the lives of many.
Assisted by his classmates Marvin Makau and Kenneth Gachukia, Edwin made strides towards making a functional app dubbed Usalama. The app acts as a panic button by alerting local security, medical, and fire authorities in case of an emergency. According to the article, the app has a “database of all recorded crime alerts, which enables the police and other emergency responders to identify crime-prone areas, allowing them to put in place the necessary security measures. Launched in November 2016, the Usalama smartphone app is activated by simply shaking your phone three times while holding down the volume button, or tapping on the app’s icon.” The app sends the alert to responders 200 meters from the location ensuring the app user receives help as fast as possible.
According to the article “the app has 3,000 users and was recently shortlisted to represent Kenya in the Africa Prize for Engineering.” To be among the 3,000 Usalama app users are required to provide “three contacts of their next of kin, including their spouse, a work colleague, and a parent. The three contacts are the first people to be notified, in addition to any relevant emergency service providers.”
As the app continues to help those in distress, the trio are working to develop it further to include various features including a “walk with me” feature enabling users to virtually escort each other home at night. The Usalama App is available to download on Google Playstore.
This article was first written in Face2Face Africa.