Sep 15th, 2011

I know we’ve all thought to ourselves: what would we do in a situation where we can’t dial 911? Whether it be because your assailant would hear you or because you don’t have enough time to get the phone out and dial, it’s a valid question.

How about an app that not only alerts the authorities, but allows them to see and hear everything your phone is seeing and hearing? Oh, and it’ll also get your GPS location in order to make it easier for help to find you. The police dispatcher can then send this information to those in squad cars who are close to you.

I imagine it’s not much more than a widget or a simple app. Initially, select students at College Park’s University of Maryland will be able to participate, but the police department aims to make it available to all Android and iPhone users at the end of trials.

Chief of Police for the campus, David Mitchell, says you can use the app as a preventative measure, as well. If you need to walk back to your dorm late at night and you’re uneasy, simply activate the app and allow them to monitor you. You then simply turn it off if you happen to make it back to your dorm safely.

He also assures everyone that the app is not “Big Brother” in disguise and that they have nothing to worry about as far as privacy goes. It’ll be interesting to see how accepting users are of this and to see if the tool really is effective.

Unfortunately, even if it is successful a majority of safety-conscious citizens probably won’t be seeing something like this from their local police department for a long time, if not at all. The app will be called M-Urgency and will be a free download and service once it does launch. [WTOP, Thanks Greg!]