Guardly app becomes Toronto school’s pocket panic button

A downtown Toronto university will be giving its students a free panic button in their pockets this fall, rolling out a mobile app that they will use to call for help in on-campus emergencies.

Toronto-based Guardly Corp. is providing the personal safety app to OCAD University after years of collaboration, months of testing, and a pilot program. That pilot program demonstrated that campus safety response times were cut nearly in half when the mobile app was used in simulated incidents.

Guarly helps communication in emergency situations.

Guardly is a free app available on Android, iOS, and BlackBerry smartphones. Users can pre-program a list of emergency contacts to receive an alert. Then when needed, a panic button connects the sender with their contacts. It can create a conference call with the group, broadcast GPS location, facilitate a text discussion, and deliver status updates – such as whether an ambulance has been called.

Guardly Command is a Web-based incident management system that OCAD University’s security team will use to field incoming alerts from its students. If a student or faculty member triggers a Guarly alert while on OCAD’s campus boundaries, personnel receive the in-bound information on a dashboard.

Guardly is a graduate of the school’s Mobile Experience Innovation Centre incubator program.

OCAD University students can download with the Guardly Safe Campus app through the school’s Web site.  

Waterloo, Ont.-based Mindr Mobile also offers a personal safety app called Personal Monitor, available on Android devices for a subscription price of $2.99 per month. That firm has partnered with the National Council of Women of Canada, whose members will use the app.

Source | OCAD University

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