We were intrigued by the concept of FightBack, an emergency alert app that doubles up as crowdsourced map of alerts raised by people in distress. Created by WhyPoll, an NGO working on open governance in India in collaboration with application developer CanvasM, FightBack brands itself as “India’s first mobile application for women’s safety”. A user can send a distress alert to chosen recipients via email and SMS by activating an alert on button on the app. An interactive Google Map on the website anonymously displays the locations of all the alerts logged since the time the app was deployed.
Email alert with a link to the disressed location on the crowdsouced map. The alert is anonymously displayed otherwise.
An alert is triggered after a delay of five seconds by pressing a button on the app. The alert, if mistakenly triggered, can be cancelled during delay or later. The time of response was impressive. All the listed recipients immediately received the distress SMS and email. The SMS contained the street address of the distress location. The email contained a link that displayed a very accurately placed marker of the distress location on a Google map. Multiple alerts sent in quick succession from the same account from within a radius of 200 metres were logged. A welcome addition would be the ability to view a list of all alerts raised, along with details such as the date, time and location co-ordinates.
SMS alert to sent to a group of predetermined recepients
‘My Alerts’ shows a log of all emergency alerts raised by you on a map, along with the date and time. These alerts are displayed anonymously on the crowdsourced map on the website, ensuring the user’s privacy. The functionality to comment on some of these entries mentioned in the user guide wasn't displayed alongside the crowdsourced map. Comments on crowdsourced deployments provide a way for other people to interact and deal with the emergency situation.
Updated 23 May, 2013, 8:09 pm IST
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