Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ballendella resident launches personal safety alarm app

An iPhone app which helps keep people safe by alerting people to a potential attacker was launched by a Ballendella resident this week.

ELAINE COONEY January 18, 2013 4:48am

Ballendella resident Rick Knowles' new iPhone app aims to alert passers-by to someone who is being attacked.

Ballendella resident Rick Knowles has developed an iPhone app to help women keep safe by alerting people to a potential attacker.

The app, entitled ‘Get Away from Me’, is due to go on sale on iTunes today.

It works as a personal alarm and once activated will sound a whistle along with an audio message shouting ‘‘Help, I’m being attacked, get away from me’’.

It also sends up to five SMS messages to friends alerting them of the situation along with the victim’s location on Google Maps.

Mr Knowles said the audio could be silenced and the message could be changed by the user when it was being set up.

The idea came to Mr Knowles following Jill Meagher’s murder in Melbourne last year.

‘‘When I saw the video of her on the street (talking to the alleged murderer) and she had the phone in her hand, I just thought ‘What if she could send a message with her GPS co-ordinates?’,’’ he said.

He employed technicians to develop his app idea and planned to develop it in Australia and India.

Mr Knowles’ wife suggested the audio to alert passers-by to the situation.

‘‘People in close proximity may hear it and the attacker may be spooked by it,’’ he said.

Mr Knowles said he hoped to develop the app to be used by children who may be in danger or lost and so parents can keep an eye on their whereabouts.

‘‘If this can stop just one person getting hurt, you feel pretty good about it,’’ he said.

The app will cost smartphone users $1.95.

Mr Knowles said he hoped it would just cover the cost of its development and, if a profit was made, he would put some of it towards preventing violence against women.

The ‘Get Away from Me’ app is designed to work for iPhone 4 and 5 but Mr Knowles said he was also planning to create a version for Android phones.

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