Quite Thought Full: Go go gadget rape whistle
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 23:10
Most everyone has seen the commercials for the various emergency response necklaces recommended for our elderly loved ones who live alone. God forbid it ever happens, but if 80-year-old Great-Aunt Ester falls and in fact does break her hip, the press of a button can help to ensure that she’ll still be at cousin Jeremy’s piano recital at the end of the year. It’s a fair and reasonable product for an appropriate audience. No argument there.
Clandestine Development has just released what it calls a “premier personal safety app” called LifeLine Response for iPhones and Androids. In an e-mail to The Duke, Clandestine aimed this app towards freshman girls and their advertisement online is aimed almost blatantly towards women, as women are the only possible victims shown thus possible users. Their audience defined, this app will ensure that ladies of all ages are “never truly alone” even “without the protection of friends, daylight or security professionals.”
Because, clearly, women who commonly leave their body guards at home should not be allowed out by themselves once the sun goes down.
This app promises both round-the-clock protection for the user and comfort to the parents who still force their daughters to call them while they’re walking alone after 5 p.m. Sounds great in theory, but it’s design could cause a glut of problems.
Once you pay $2.99 and download the app, you’re then charged a $3.99 monthly subscription. As a subscriber, you must complete a profile with your name, weight, height, hair color and other general appearance information and add seven names and phone numbers or emails to be used as your lifelines.
When you open the app in touch mode and your touch leaves the screen, a 20-second countdown begins, during which you can disarm the app, set off the silent alarm or let the audible alarm be set off. Even if your phone breaks during a brutal assault, all of your location and profile information will be on servers in real-time and one of LifeLine Response’s “highly trained emergency professionals” at the 24-hour response center will receive the distress alert.
If deemed credible, the nearest 911 dispatch center will be notified that you are in a life threatening situation by LifeLine. An alert is also sent to your seven lifelines notifying them that you are possibly being victimized in some way, shape or form at that second. If you wanted to scare the living daylights out of your loved ones, here’s your chance simply by missing the 20-second countdown while having a good time in the South Side.
A false alarm doesn’t just earn you a lecture from your parents. You’re also charged a $100 fee for every false alarm, as one iTunes reviewer cautioned.
Once that distress signal is sent, a voice warns your assailant (or you, if this is a pesky false alarm) that police are en route. By this point your assailant would have run off scared. Then you will be able to show off your hero, this LifeLine app, when the police arrive.
Call me old fashioned, but I’m ok with a can of pepper spray and the old one-two-punch. Although, I don’t think even Inspector Gadget had this kind protection against the bad guys.
Katie Walsh is a senior English and philosophy major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.