Sentinel, Mobile app for women security, from the creators of TukTuk Meter

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Sentinel is a smart security solution that encompasses the security of women in transit to and from office. It works as an alert mechanism with cloud server maintaining persistent connection. This app could be used for securing employees and tracking their location. Sentinel means honour guard for security purposes. This application could send instant alerts to preconfigured numbers; just by a forced power off. This app can be run on Android, Symbian, Blackberry OS and iPhone.We at YourStory.in caught up with Kallidil Kalidasan, founder of MindHelix Technologies, developers of Sentinel mobile app. Edited excerpts of the conversation:

Are there any other similar apps in the market? What are your differentiators?

Yes, there are many other security apps in the market. There are many differentiators, one of which is that our app sends alerts even in cases when the phone gets switched off. In certain cases the user might not get a chance to press the alert button. The battery is sure to drain out, if the phone is not charged, in such cases an alert will be sent to help the user. Another important feature is that the app shows the path and also the mode of transportation of the user.

Please walk us through the features of the app. Which feature excites you most? 

The application consists of a web section and a mobile app. The app is created for people living in cities. The app has features like one-click alert to near and dear via email and SMS, alert on forced switch off/ travelling beyond coverage, application exits only after entering the authorized password, tracing the last known location.

The most exciting feature for us is that the app sends an alert even when the phone is switched off.

How much time did it take to build the app? 

It took us about 3 months to build the app from scratch.

The app is free to download currently. How do you plan to monetize?

We are working on an advanced version of the app, which will be a paid version. It will contain lot more features which are not available on the current version.

What features are you planning to add to the next version?

Call back option is one of the features which we are planning to add to the app. The app will call to pre-defined numbers and an automated voice will alert them about the potential risk that the user might be facing.

Tell us about the number of downloads so far.

We have had about 20,000 plus downloads so far.

How do you take your mobile app to women?

Making marketing blueprint is one of the most important phase. Visual and print media played a vital role in spreading information and awareness about Sentinel after launch. We have a dedicated team for online promotion and to promote the app through social media as well. There are a lot women organizations who work for the empowerment of women and their social security in all means. We have tie-ups with a few of the main organizations for spreading awareness about the app. Another main group to be targeted is the corporate employees. Most of the corporate women still face the threat to travel at night as the society is still not very conducive for women to move freely. For targeting this group, we have introduced our app in corporate get togethers.

What are your challenges as an entrepreneur in mobile app space in India?

The challenge as such for any mobile app developer whether it be individual developer or an entrepreneur, would be that the market is so wide that the app has to reach millions of users if he/she were to make money out of it. The second challenge would be that your apps have to excite the audience every time if they are not free and so the approach should be to continuously innovative and bring new ideas and concepts in your apps. There has to be emphasis on enterprise solutions using mobile, if business has to flourish as the Indian app user base is still very nascent.

Tell us about the kind of feedback that you received from users so far.

We have got hundreds of calls from women all over the country thanking us for making such a useful product. Lots of people were excited about the app and we have got many valuable suggestions, which we will be incorporating in the advanced version.

Website: http://sentinel.mindhelix.com/

If you are a mobile developer, startup or an enthusiast, then do check out WindowsPhoneAppChallenge by YourStory.in