As user safety becomes a key element of customer experience, brands must realize their responsibility to keep users safe before, during, and after use of their services. With peace of mind as a new product differentiator, especially for app and connected device providers, technology companies should start considering emergency response as a key element of their workflows in user health, safety, and security.
Read on for a list of companies that are making strides in user safety and changing what it means to care.
Hailed as the company that made humans trust each other again, Uber is responsible for connecting people across cities. In its mission to change transportation, the company is committed to keeping both its riders and drivers safe. Uber’s main security feature is its Safety Toolkit. During an emergency, a rider or driver can call 9-1-1 with the in-app emergency button. Through a partnership with RapidSOS, the caller’s name and car’s make, model, color, license plate, and live location are automatically sent to 9-1-1 dispatchers. For more details, download the Uber case study.
Equipped with RideCheck, the app also identifies when a trip goes off-course or if an accident occurs. Most recently, Uber announced a program in certain cities that will let riders use a text-to-911 feature through the app. The company aims to keep its community safe as they interact with the app and each other.
Car manufacturers are stepping up their safety features to protect users on their daily commutes, long road trips, and everything in between. Select Subaru models feature EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System. The features use AI to give drivers an extra set of eyes on the road, detecting abnormalities in the environment and signs of a drowsy driver, effectively decreasing the risk of accidents. In 2019, five of Subaru’s car models received 5-Star Safety Rating scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
One of the largest technology companies in the world, Google looks after its consumers every step of the way. In 2018, Google and RapidSOS teamed up to ensure Android users can be found when they need help the most. With accurate, real-time location data from Android Emergency Location Service – sent as supplemental data to 9-1-1 through RapidSOS – Android phone users can trust that if they’re ever in an emergency, a call to 9-1-1 will share their location right to the screens of telecommunicators, updating even as they move.
In the workplace, IBM is powering connected devices to protect employees in potentially dangerous work environments. IBM’s Maximo Worker Insights identifies hazardous situations by monitoring the outside environment for risks, as well as employee behavior and health as they work. From the mobile app – connected to wearable devices like hardhats, smart watches, and panic accessories – Maximo Worker Insights reminds workers to wear their protective gear, take breaks, and alerts their supervisors about their status. This feature empowers workers and protects them in their everyday activities for better relationships with their work and increased productivity.
InvisaWear takes jewelry to the next level by adding a layer of security to the user experience. Dubbed “smart jewelry,” invisaWear charms have the power to contact emergency services at the double-press of a button. Powered by RapidSOS, the activated charm sends a notification to five emergency contacts with the user’s exact GPS location. Users may also place a 9-1-1 call through the app, which will disclose their name and real-time location with emergency responders on the other end.
Avaya provides companies with intelligent communication solutions to connect with their customers, workforce, and communities. Through their IX Workplace unified communication offering, Avaya partners with RapidSOS and 911 Secure to provide public safety agencies with critical data from the scene of emergencies. Location information from IP addresses and floor plans within the IX Workplace system increase situational awareness for first responders as they handle situations.
Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, offers companionship and support in many homes around the world. She plays music, makes calls, and can even act as a security guard for the home and office. When users say, “Alexa, I’m leaving,” as they depart, Alexa Guard is activated. The virtual assistant detects irregular noises, such as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and glass breaking. Alexa can connect to home security devices to lock and unlock the system with voice control. Users are empowered with the ability to monitor these alerts right from the mobile app when they are not home.
Apple is giving users more than just an accessory and time-telling device in the form of the Apple Watch. Tuned into a user’s pulse, the Apple Watch contains health sensors that constantly monitor heart rate, sending alerts for irregularities and storing the information in the Health app for future reference. Apple also launched their ECG App, which performs an ECG reading and records the details for users to share with their physicians. The connected device is capable of detecting falls and prompting users to call 9-1-1, showing a medical ID to first responders without the need of a passcode, and storing health records in the Health app.
On iPhones with iOS 12 and up, Apple securely and automatically shares location data to 9-1-1 during emergencies. Accessible through the RapidSOS Clearinghouse, this location data helps telecommunicators pinpoint callers when they most need assistance.
A mobile navigation app, Waze gives users the power to report and access real-time traffic updates. The company partners with municipalities to create a safer transportation experience for citizens. For serious emergencies, the Connected Citizens Program offers crisis communication that sends real-time notifications to users warning them to stay off of certain roads to avoid danger. Partnering with RapidSOS, Waze can deliver accurate, real-time location and traffic data to 9-1-1 telecommunicators during emergencies. More than just a tool for navigation, Waze increases transparency between cities and their citizens.
ROAR’s AlwaysOn devices protect women in the workplace. The wearable device is small and discreet, and clips to any item of clothing. In the event of an emergency or dangerous situation, employees can press the device and be located inside their workplace, down to the exact room and even in GPS dead spots. The device is mainly in use in hotels, but has meaningful implications for the future of workplace safety.