App makes walking alone safer for college students

App makes walking alone safer for college students

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - We all want to protect our children, especially when we send them off to college. Now, a new app helps make sure kids never walk alone.

The app is called "Companion." It was developed by four University of Michigan students to make it safer for college students walking alone on campus.

Walking home alone is sometimes unavoidable for some Southeast Missouri State University students.

"I have one night class and I am by myself after it," Emma Petree said.

And everyone has their own idea of how to be safe.

"I carry pepper spray with me," Samm Himstedt said.

"I usually try to go to areas that are lighted, not sketchy and go to dark areas," Petree said.

But what if safety came in the form of an app?

"Companion" lets you share your destination with a friend of family member. In real time, those people can watch your movements on a map.

"I think this might be a good alternative to keeping you safe," Devin Spears said.

Spears likes the idea of having a second set of eyes looking out for him while walking around on campus.

The app's protective features detect if you've started running, or if your headphones have been taken out of the smartphone's headphone jack.

The app will start a 15-second countdown before contacting your "companion."

"If I had to walk alone this would be something that I would definitely use, just to stay alert and stuff," Spears said.

Giving peace of mind to students and their parents.

"They would definitely rest easier if they thought I was more safe," said Petree.

What's cool about this app is your companions don't need the app installed to watch your back.

It's available for both Apple and Android phones.

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