TORONTO – April 7, 2011 – Guardly, a new mobile personal safety application and service, is now available for download from the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch users in the United States and Canada. Guardly enables smartphone users in distress to alert, connect, and collaborate with their personal safety network and authorities with only a single tap on their device.
Recognizing that proactive actions taken during the first moments of an emergency can often help reduce potentially negative outcomes to an incident, OCAD University has partnered with Guardly to provide local response by campus security for OCAD U students using the Guardly service to broadcast emergencies arising on campus. “Our partnership with Guardly enables the University to extend the reach of its emergency phones on campus by putting a virtual emergency phone onto smartphones carried by students,” said Vicki Brown, Director, Campus Services & Security at OCAD University. “It also enables us to track changes to the location of an emergency in real-time and communicate with the victim and his/her responding safety network throughout the incident until resolved.”
Guardly was created to dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes for help to arrive at an emergency. The app, which was announced and previewed at the DEMO conference in February, is a prime example of how technology can be used to help save lives.
Guardly differs from other personal safety apps on the market in that it enables a user’s personal safety network to collaborate with them and amongst each other through mobile web and web incident pages, SMS and voice conferencing for the duration of the emergency event. “Not every incident or situation requires 9-1-1 escalation and sometimes friends, family members or neighbours who are nearby can respond to a call for assistance even faster,” said Josh Sookman, Guardly Founder and CEO. “We’ve created a mobile app that provides a simple way to bring your personal safety network together instantly, and escalate an emergency to 9-1-1 at any point during an incident.”
Guardly is ideal for students, young professionals, travelers, sports enthusiasts, or anyone who frequently walks alone at night, is concerned about dating safety, is responsible for children, may find themselves in abusive relationships or is faced with medical conditions. Guardly is also ideal for families and friends who agree to look out for one another in the event of disasters such as earthquakes, fires and floods.
Guardly Premium and Guardly Alerts
Guardly Premium (priced at $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year) is a subscription service that includes the following key features and services:
- One-tap activation: Guardly alerts two safety networks simultaneously: (1) a user’s personal safety network by voice, SMS and email, and (2) 9-1-1 or any other emergency phone number;
- Contact collaboration: Users can collaborate with emergency contacts in real-time by conference call, instant messaging and map-view showing nearby locations of responders;
- LocationAssure™: Guardly uses GPS, cell-tower triangulation and WiFi hotspots to find a user’s real-time location for the entire duration of an emergency incident, even if the user is on the phone with 9-1-1. By combining this data with places frequented by a user, Guardly helps ensure a user is easy to find by responders in case of emergency;
- NetworkAssure™: Built-in intelligence to detect network failures and wait until a signal is present to transmit data and make calls to 9-1-1 to ensure users are connected to their safety network;
- Auto-dial emergency services including 9-1-1: It takes at least 8 taps to dial 9-1-1 on an iPhone (Home, Swipe, Phone, Keypad, 9, 1, 1, Send). It only takes 3 taps to launch Guardly (Home, Swipe, Guardly);
- Photo sharing: Users can share photos with their personal safety network instantly and securely.
Guardly Alerts is a free service that includes the following features:
- Emergency alerts: Send location-based emergency alerts via voice call, SMS and email to pre-configured safety groups;
- Contact groups: Add up to 15 contacts per emergency group (unlimited groups).
Users can also run emergency simulations of Guardly Premium to learn the benefits of upgrading to the premium version.
In conjunction with the launch announcement, Guardly has also closed a seed round of financing that includes investments from Extreme Venture Partners, Bryker Capital and several angel investors. The company will be using the funding to add to its technology development and business development teams to build out its partner ecosystem.
Availability on other Smartphone Platforms
Guardly’s mobile application for iPhone is available immediately from the Apple App Store at http://itunes.com/apps/guardly. BlackBerry and Android versions are in development and will be announced shortly.
Guardly is a platform for emergency communication that changes the way mobile personal safety is delivered. Smartphone users that find themselves in an emergency situation can alert, connect and collaborate with local authorities as well as their own personal safety networks in a single tap. Guardly is committed to dramatically decreasing the amount of time it takes responders to arrive at an emergency. The company is a member of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and is based in Toronto, Canada. For more information visit: http://guardly.com.
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