Need a hero? There's an app for that
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 23:20:38 GMT —
There's an app for just about everything these days, even one that works as your own personal hero. Well, sort of.
It's called the "HERO" app and it aims at helping people in times of need. If you find yourself in a time of "distress", you can tap the app icon and it will send out your GPS coordinates and live video and audio from your phone to your social media site or other phones with the app within a five mile radius. Amarillo locals seemed supportive of the personal security the app could provide additional safety to regular citizens, especially parents.
"If you're in a public place and something is happening and somebody is yelling, half the time you don't think anything of it," said 26-year-old Jake Wood. "You just think some kids are running around, no big deal, you just disregard it. It's a great idea to just get knowledge out there so you know it's a real threat."
"If something were to happen unexpectedly," said Cassie Ross, who was visiting Amarillo, "I think that an app like that would be useful."
Amarillo grandmother and former school teacher Marilyn Jackson added how she though the app could help protect children.
"You think about some children that maybe have a phone and have that app," she said. "If someone approached them walking home from school or when they were at the park, they would have an easy way to get help."
Although there seemed to lots of support from citizens, local law enforcement was skeptical of the app and it's true effectiveness.
"In theory it sounds really good and it sounds like a lot of people coming to help," said Cpl. Jerry Neufeld with the Amarillo Police Department. "But at the same time, people could be like no, I don't want to get involved in that one. We're relaying on other people in the area who one, have the app, and two contact us."
Even the HERO app developer, Apptooth, said the app is "not an emergency service and does not replace any local authorities." But even then, Jackson felt the app gives regular a people the chance to help.
"Public citizens maybe have an opportunity to stop something before it gets to that stage where they do need the police," she said.
"Maybe in conjunction with 9-1-1," added Ross, "it might just save a few more lives or it might help the police get onto a scene just a little bit quicker and so even a few more lives or a few seconds earlier would be all the difference."
You can download the HERO app for free from the App Store or Google Play. Find it by searching for the developer -- Apptooth.