By Helen Jackson on January 31, 2013
ARGYLL, the UK’s leading provider of safeguarding services, today announced the launch of Companion, one of a new range of personal safety applications for Smartphones.
The app, which is the first of its kind on the market, converts compatible smartphones into a fully functioning personal safety solution with a dedicated SOS button.
Companion is complemented by SmartClip, a body worn clip-on accessory that looks like a simple hands-free or MP3 device but is in actual fact a discreet SOS button, connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth.
A user can trigger their Companion alarm by pressing a concealed button on the SmartClip hands-free device, which will automatically connect their smartphone to Argyll’s alarm receiving centre (ARC).
Glasgow City Mission, which runs a Winter Night Shelter for vulnerable and homeless adults, is one of the early adopters of the solution. Mitchum Bock, night shelter manager, said: “The app and device has to be simple, reliable and easy to use since it was used every night over the past two months by our staff, who must be prepared when confronted by violence, aggression and other emergency situations.”
Mitchum continued: “The operator within the ARC can listen to the situation and is able to speak discreetly, and without the aggressor’s knowledge, with our staff using the hands-free capability. The user is guaranteed police assistance if it is required and Companion will pinpoint the person using the app to within metres of their location.”
Tom Morton, founder and CEO of Argyll, which is based in Dunoon, Scotland, said he hoped the app would enable businesses to integrate vital lone worker safety services within mainstream business equipment and processes.
He said: “I’m delighted that the workers at Glasgow City Mission’s Winter Night Shelter chose to place their faith in our safeguarding solution.
“Traditional lone worker devices can be an expensive option to deploy and operate; by contrast the more cost-effective mobile phone options can become unsuitable for some business processes, Companion fills the current gap in the delivery of safeguarding solutions.
“Most businesses are already using or considering the deployment of smartphones; using the Companion app gives employers the chance to sweat their existing mobile assets, so all that is required is for that smartphone to be configured with the app and they are well on their way to satisfying their duty of care and without the need to purchase expensive lone worker devices and duplicate costs using associated sim cards. And fundamentally, the app will not drain battery life on your smartphone.”
Companion is the first in a new series of cost effective and modular apps for the smartphone market. It delivers tangible benefits and the use of an existing smartphone means that employers can save money without compromising on employee safety.
The app can be used independently of the SmartClip device, and will elicit the same response as the clip by pressing the power button on your handset three times. The SmartClip device operates in conjunction with your Companion smartphone application, over a range of up to 30m. It provides end users with discreet reassurance and a method for summoning assistance; opening a 2-way communications link to the nominated response centre.
Argyll Lone Worker Solutions