Apps can help keep you safe when you’re out and about

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER -- Having a safety tool at your fingertips could mean the difference between life and death in a dangerous situation. There are several new mobile applications that are designed to offer piece of mind and connect a person in trouble with help.

Three applications are gaining popularity on the safety front.

Companion

Companion is an app that gives you virtual company as you walk to a destination alone. You pick a family member or friend to follow you along your journey. You can choose anyone from you contacts even if they don’t have the Companion app. Instead of a notification from Companion, they will receive a text with a link that includes directions.

The app is designed to sense trouble, like if the user strays from the designated route, starts running or even drops the phone. If the app does detect trouble it will set off an alarm and notify the companion.

Circle of Six

Circle of Six uses a similar strategy, only you program six of your trusted family members or friends. You can instantly notify all six of them if you’re in trouble. The app pings all of them with your request for help and your exact location.

Lifeline Response

Lifeline Response tracks you and will also connect you to police with a simple hand gesture.

Millions of people are using Lifeline, enough to catch the attention of police at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The app is free for students, faculty and staff.

CU senior Jamie Sims is one of thousands with Lifeline on her phone.

“I’m walking home at night, I have a couple of late classes, and I live off campus. It’s really nice to just kind of have that extra security,” Sims said.

FOX31 Denver put Lifeline to the test to see if and how it works. At no point was an actual 911 call initiated, but instead, an emergency inside a parking garage on the CU campus was simulated.

To test it, we used the thumb mode. The app is triggered when a person removes their thumb, and a countdown begins from 20. At 14 seconds, the alarm goes off.

During a false alarm a person would type in a PIN. For the sake of the test, we let the countdown continue to zero. A call immediately comes in.

“This is Emma from Lifeline Response,” the dispatcher on the other end said after receiving the alert. “We have received your emergency distress alert. Are you OK?”

Lifeline tracked the location and connected with the CU Boulder police. Moments later, the dispatcher at CU Boulder police was notified of our location with information about the distress call. If it were a real emergency, campus police officers would have arrived moments later.

All three apps are free to download. Lifeline Response offers a free 30-day trial then charges a monthly fee of $4.99.

AlertMe