Worried that your college kid has to go home alone after a school event? If you're one of those parents who instruct their children to give you a call or send a text message as soon as they leave the party, or when they get back to their dorm safely, then you will find a lot of use for this new app.
Rightfully called the Companion, this app was created by students from the University of Michigan who experience the same dilemma their parents are worried about.
"Let's say you are leaving the library late at night and you don't have anybody to walk home with. All you do is input your destination, add a few contacts friends or family and Companion handles the rest," Lexie Ernst, one of the creators of the app, explained how the Companion works, according to WFAA.
"So instantly on your friend's side they can see you walking and if you go off route, don't make it home on time, or if you fall, or your headphones get yanked out of your phone, instantly your contacts are notified to check up on you," added Ernst.
Users will have to input their mobile numbers on the app and turn on their GPS tracking system to use it. The Companion also has a feature that can alert 911 or advise friends and family if the person is feeling nervous or threatened.
While there are similar apps that do this, such as the SafeTrek, the Companion is more adaptable and user-friendly as there is no need for everyone to download it, according to CBS News. One user can have the app installed on their phone, which can send a text message to another person, who doesn't have the app, and yet can keep track of the user.
Primarily for use by students at the university, parents are finding that Companion is very useful for everyone in the family. "You can see lots of people using this in lots of ways," said editor Nicholas Thompson to CBS. However, Thompson noted some potential problems with the Companion, such as the annoying beeping sound.
The app is also not free as it costs $3 monthly to use it. But according to Daily Mail, it's growing popular especially among women despite the cost and there are already over 250,000 users since its debut.
The Companion is only available to use in the United States for now.
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