We had a chance to sit down (virtually) with Rob Monkman, the creator of React Mobile, an app developed for your safety and peace of mind. As a young woman who often walks alone after dark, I was excited to hear about this great free app. You can add trusted friends and family as your emergency contacts. They can then track your location when, for example, you go for a jog at 3am to clear your head. If you do ever run into trouble, React Mobile will send out an SOS at the touch of a button, alerting your emergency contacts of your situation and location. It will also prompt you to get in touch with emergency services in your area.
We asked Rob to explain what his inspiration was for creating this app?
“I’ve personally been the victim of a hostage situation while I was a college student and saw the need for a product that could be used to silently and discreetly alert the authorities and your trusted contacts if you are in trouble. When we first came up with the idea behind React Mobile, we wanted to develop a tool to improve safety on university campuses. What we noticed is that institutions are actively installing and maintaining blue light emergency phones which help to create the perception of safety on campuses. Although these blue light emergency phones can be useful, they are very expensive to install ($7K – $10K on average) and maintaining these phones costs upwards of $60k per year. Furthermore, usage rates are low and these phones are typically used for crank calls pestering police and security officers. While there is no doubt that these blue light emergency phones serve a purpose, we wanted to develop technology that puts the power of an emergency blue light phone in the palm of every students’ hand, thus, arming individuals with a more effective safety tool that can be used on and off campus.
Since our launch we’ve found other markets beyond schools that can benefit from our app’s capabilities, and we’ve been gaining traction with runners, women runners in particular.”
Do you have a version of this app out for Android users?
“Yes, we have released our app on several Android platforms and we are working to expand our list of supported Android smartphones. It’s difficult to keep up with the many different Android phone models and operating systems but we work on most of the popular Android platforms.”
Do you have a Windows version?
“We don’t currently have a Window version of our app. As a Seattle based company we plan to develop a Window version of our app in the next year.”
In what ways does React Mobile differentiate itself from it’s competitors?
Follow-Me Feature – “React Mobile, is a safety tool that you hope you never have to use. We differentiate ourselves by providing users with a safety enhancement feature for everyday use. Our premium “Follow-me” feature allows users to have friends and family track them in real-time. When a user is concerned for their safety but doesn’t want to escalate a potentially harmless situation, they can have their friends and family track them in real-time until they are safe.*International Support:* Users also have the ability to choose which country they are visiting (or living in) from our settings tab and when they trigger an SOS alert they will be prompted to dial the appropriate emergency authority depending on where they are (ex: if they are in the UK the app will prompt a user to dial 112 not 911).”
Social Network Integration – “SOS alerts can be posted to Facebook and Twitter – In the event of an emergency we want users to have the capability to alert as many people as possible. We are differentiating ourselves from the competition by offering users the option to post their emergency alerts to Facebook and Twitter with a link to their location.”
White Label/Custom Branding – “We are differentiating ourselves from competitors by providing corporate and educational institutions with our custom branding opportunities. React Mobile’s Private Label service is a cost effective and easy to implement layer of protection that allows institutions to brand our application as their own. Our private label opportunities allow schools and corporations to focus on delivering a powerful risk mitigation tool to employees without having to go spend the resources and time developing a comprehensive solution like React on their own. Unlike other personal safety products such as pepper spray, rape whistles, guns, tasers, etc., React Mobile, is a safety product that cannot be used against a victim. All that is required is a Internet signal, WiFi, or cell coverage to work. Our Private label product is a cost effective way to take advantage of the safety benefits that technology can provide. React Mobile is a solution that is affordable for people to pick up independently or for corporations to sell as a benefit to others which helps to drive brand loyalty and employee morale. You can find out more about React Mobile’s Custom Branding Opportunities by following this link: www.reactmobile.com/private-label.”
React Mobile is Free – “Unlike many of our competitors we are offering our product as a free app as we believe that it is a safety tool that everyone with a smartphone should have at their disposal. Unlike the competition, we impose no charge for the use of key features and we don’t require a users’ emergency contacts to have installed the app.”
Automatic 911 prompt – “Because it is critical to alert the authorities when you are in trouble, our app automatically prompts users to dial 911 if an alert is activated.”
Can you explain the Follow-Me feature in a little more detail?
“React Mobile’s SOS emergency reporting is a safety tool that you hope you never have to use. We differentiate ourselves by providing users with a safety feature for everyday use. Our premium “Follow-me” feature allows users’ friends and family to track them in real-time whenever they are concerned for their safety. People frequently feel unsafe and uncomfortable but may not want to trigger an SOS alert. Examples include , a solo or late night runner (or runner in the woods), a realtor meeting a new client for the first time in an unfamiliar place, a student walking home along a dark pathway, an online dater who is meeting a date for the first time. These are just some examples of when people might want the peace of mind of knowing that their trusted, self-selected contacts are tracking them in real-time. If an emergency situation occurs a user can escalate to an SOS alert, however, if for some reason the user can’t issue an alert (i.e. they are attacked), their friends will know where they are if they go missing thanks to the last known GPS and will be able to alert the police.”
Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about React Mobile?
“As previous stated, we’ve also launched React Mobile on select Android smartphones. The app is currently available for many Android devices on Google Play, with additional releases are anticipated later this year.
This summer we started to offer International support and React Mobile has world-travelers covered, with availability in 39 countries.
As mentioned above, this summer we also introduced a custom branding solution that allows universities, K-12 schools, and businesses to have their very own custom security app to share with their students and employees. For an annual fee, organizations can have a custom branded safety app, with their logo, colors, and user interface customizations that has all of the safety features of React Mobile.”
We’d like to thank Rob for not only taking the time to tell us about this great app but also for developing it! If you’d like to check it out for yourself, head on over to the app store!