You don’t have to walk alone anymore. Rather than asking your mom, bestie, or significant other to stay on the phone with you while you walk down a sketchy street at night, you can use Kitestring. You punch in your emergency contacts, let it know when you’re somewhere dangerous, and Kitestring will text you a little later to see if you’re okay. If you don’t respond, it alerts your loved ones that something may be wrong.
I’m a relatively burly guy and I still see a need for this. While backpacking through Thailand, I’d roll up my sleeves and punch my fist into my palm menacingly in hopes that I’d look too tough to attack on an empty midnight street. Kitestring can’t dissuade someone from messing with you, but it won’t let you disappear without a trace.
You should still keep your eyes open, and your valuables tucked away. My favorite safety trick is to walk in the road rather than the sidewalk. If someone wants to jump me, I’ll see them coming in the empty street opposed to them having a chance to suddenly lash out if I pass right by them on the sidewalk. Kitestring is just another form of insurance just in case things go bad.
There are plenty of other apps designed to help keep you safe when you’re out alone. OnWatch and Circle Of 6 can share your current location with loved ones. bSafe can ping your emergency contacts with one touch, and record audio and video evidence. And Nirbhaya lets you alert your contacts just by shaking your phone.
But what I like about Kitestring is that it’s a mobile web app, which makes it accessible to people on all sorts of phones. The set-up process is quick and simple, and the app isn’t cluttered with too many features. And it doesn’t require the user to send the alerts, which is important because if there’s an incident, you might be separated from your phone.
As Bust points out, you might freak out your family or partner if your phone dies or you fall asleep and you don’t answer the check-up text. But that false positive from Kitestring is better than no one realizing you’re gone until it’s too late to track you down.