My family comes from Wisconsin, so naturally I have a Green Bay Packers “Cheesehead” hat in my collection. In college, when I had to walk across campus late at night, I’d sometimes wear my cheesehead hat, joking that it was my “security” device. I’d joked with my friends that no one would find a woman in a cheesehead hat sexy, so it prevented assaults….and it prevented mugging because who’s gonna mess with some person crazy enough to wear a hunk of cheese on their head in public. I’m not sure if wearing my big dumb hat ever stopped any potential assailants in their tracks…but I never got attacked when I was wearing it.
In reality, of course, a cheesehead hat is a terrible way to protect yourself from violent crime. A far better option would be bSafe, an iPhone app developed by Bipper USA.
What is it and what does it do
bSafe is an iPhone app that lets you hit a “panic button” in the event of an emergency. This panic button alerts your “guardians” (friends and family) and shares your location with them. This can be helpful if you are out jogging and are caught in bad weather or have an accident, or if you are walking alone in a bad neighborhood after dark.
- Basic functionality is free (bSafe Premium for only $1.99/month for extra features)
- SOS alarm deploys with just two clicks
- Live GPS tracking and the ability to schedule an alarm automatically if you don’t check in on time
- Easy to test before using in the field
- Also boasts a “fake call” feature to get you out of a bad date, or make it seem like you’re on the phone when you’re not
- Like any other app that uses GPS constantly, this app can run down your battery quickly: make sure you have a full charge before you leave the house!
I’m not sure if guys ever do this, but I know plenty of women who will keep their phone to their ears while walking home to minimize their risk of being targeted by criminals. Whether they’re having a real convo or a fake one, the idea is that an attacker is less likely to target someone who’s clearly on the line with someone who could rush to their rescue.
bSafe seems like a natural extension of that impulse to ward off attackers by feigning a connection: except, in the case of bSafe, you can be connected to multiple people in the event of an emergency. Just sign in with Facebook or set up an account, and you’re good to go.
The UI is great: there’s a big red panic button that’s easy to set off, and the Home screen is segmented into a very simple grid of options. I also like that you can do a test run from the home screen to see how the app responds under “battle conditions.”
This is a great app for anyone who is single, engages in potentially dangerous pursuits (like solo hiking or pre-dawn jogging), and it’s a great way for parents to keeps tabs on their kids without being invasive.
Conclusion and download link
bSafe isn’t the be-all, end-all solution for personal safety. A few martial arts lessons, some mace, and a good friend would all make for excellent companions when using this app. That being said, for users and their guardians alike, this handy app can help you breathe a bit easier.
Version reviewed: 2.2.11
Supported OS: Requires iOS 4.3 or later
Download size: 5.9 MB