In the wake of a survey that showed that seven out of ten Danish women have been harassed when out partying and reports of women in some Danish towns feeling increasingly unsafe at night, a Copenhagen entrepreneur has developed an app he says will make women feel safer when alone after dark.
Called Watcher, the app allows users to enter their destination and then choose one or more contacts to virtually monitor their journey home. If the Watcher user strays from their path, stops for an extended time or has their headphones yanked out of their phone, the app asks the user to confirm that they are all right within 30 seconds.
If there is no response, the user’s ‘watchers’ will be immediately notified that their friend is in potential danger.
How the app works. Screenshots: Watcher
“Anyone can feel uneasy when they’re out alone after dark,” Watcher CEO and developer Stefan Bech said.“Our research shows that women especially deal with this anxiety and risk by calling a friend or spouse,and talking to them on the way, so we set out to recreate that experience through a social app.”
Watcher recently launched as a free app for iPhones and will be available for Android phones in April. The company said that there has already been extensive interest in their product.
“We've had more than 2,000 downloads over the last couple of days, were trending in the App Store on Wednesday, and almost 400 people have started trips in the last couple of days and we expect much more over the weekend when people are out,” Watcher spokeswoman Danika Maia Perman told The Local.