Companion: The App That Will Walk You Home
Don’t let walking alone put you off, turn on your Companion app and let someone you trust virtually accompany you along the way.
Personal safety is an issue that concerns everyone and if there is a way that helps us become more aware of our surroundings then we are all ears. I’d like to give an example of when I felt as if my personal safety was slightly at risk, thus I will share a short story of when I found myself in an uncomfortable situation.
I was on my way to town to meet a friend and to grab something to eat when a man crossed the road and said hi to me. Out of kindness I said “Hi” back thinking nothing of it and I just continued walking. Soon enough I realised he stopped walking towards the opposite street from me and instead turned around and started following me. Suddenly he caught up with me and began walking by my side asking where I was going and if I would go with him for something to eat instead.
He asked me numerous questions including where I lived and when I said it was none of his concern he tried guessing. He became my shadow for fifteen minutes until I met my friend outside a pub. Once she saw him she immediately ushered me into the building and we sat at the first table available. As we grabbed the menus I was ready to tell her the story of how this stranger would not leave me alone until I noticed the man was still outside the pub peering at us through the glass. He waited another good ten minutes until it began to rain outside. Finally, he left.
Although these situations can happen to anyone and do occur to a lot of people, they are alarming and should be prevented wherever possible. A few weeks after this happened, I heard about this new app available in the US that allows you to stay connected to your friends when you’re on a journey alone. The app is called Companion, and all you have to do is add your destination into your smartphone, how you intend to get there, select a person to be your companion for that journey and send alerts to them or your local police department if you ever feel like you are in danger.
Your virtual companion will be able to track where you are and check if anything out of the ordinary occurs. The person you choose to accompany you doesn’t even have to have the app installed on their smartphone as it will work with anyone. Although the app is not yet designed to work in the UK, it is a great concept that is likely to attract international demand, after all, safety comes first no matter where you are.