[App Fridays] Safetipin app engages users to give 'safety scores' for communities and neighbourhoodsHarshith Mallya
Prevention is better than cure is an oft quoted statement. When it comes to public safety there are too many factors involved and it is always advisable to take some basic steps to stay safe and have a plan B in case of any emergencies. Safetipin has integrated these features into a mobile app to make our cities and towns safer.
What is it about?
Safetipin is a personal safety app designed to keep the users safe. Have you ever wondered if a new place you were going to visit was safe or not? Or wished that someone knew where you were? Or needed help in an emergency?
The app goes beyond typical safety apps that focus exclusively on emergency situations, and provides a wide range of features, that will help users proactively plan and respond to situations affecting their personal safety and safety of the neighbourhood.
Safetipin recently won the mBillionth Awards South Asia 2014, in the category of e-women and children.
Founders behind the initiative
Dr. Kalpana Viswanath
Dr. Kalpana Viswanath is a researcher, who has been working on issues of violence against women and safer cities for women for over 20 years.
She has been involved with UN Habitat, UN Women and Plan International in planning safe city programs. She has also provided technical support to safe city for women programs in Cambodia, Pakistan, Kerala, Mumbai and Kolkata. She is the Chair of the International Advisory Committee of Women in Cities International and is on the Advisory Group for the second State of Asian cities report to be brought out by ESCAP and UN Habitat.
Ashish Basu is an entrepreneur with interests in education and mobile technologies.
Earlier, he was President, NIIT, where he led new business ventures for NIIT, including providing oversight to new acquisitions and joint ventures. He set up NIITs global learning solutions business in the early 90s, providing services to many leading US and UK companies.
He has been a member of government task forces in e-learning and curriculum development, and has been a speaker at various conferences in India, USA, the UK, Singapore and Peru on Learning Design and Development. He is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Mumbai.
Features of the app
Users can keep track of their friends or family members, if required to make sure they reach their destination safely.
With crowd sourced data, users can compare the safety score of a place and also submit their own safety scores out of five, for any place. Areas marked in green are safe, orange, less safe, and red, unsafe.
Users can locate nearby places of interest with their safety information and directions such as nearby hospitals, banks, filling stations, hotels, and 24 hour pharmacies.
Recording and Audits
User can pitch in to make their city safer and report what they see and feel and record places, harassments, hazards and file audits.
Pros and Cons
The app is simple, easy to use with pleasing UI and UX. The app empowers users to help others in their city or town and also receive help from other in case of emergencies. I was able to try out all the features and was satisfied with the results. Even features like the ‘Safety Score’ which is calculated based on crowd sourced data seemed right, based on my general knowledge and past experiences at those places.
Though almost all Tier 1 cities had sufficient amount of data, there was almost no activity in a few Tier 2 cities. For the facility to be effective, more users are needed. Since some of the data is crowd sourced, there is a chance that some inaccuracies might creep up but to counter this, Safetipin has various surveyors who go in the field and do safety audits based on the above parameters.
Safetipin has the potential to make our cities and towns safer. As more people sign up, the platform’s effectiveness to help us tackle our safety issues will only increase.