How can your smartphone protect you? – A case study with PathGO

You never really expect to be in an accident or in danger. It is just one of those things that you cannot predict. But what you can do is safeguard yourself by taking certain precautions that will prepare you to take swift actions in the face of unexpected events.

However, that is easier said than done. Let’s be practical here for a moment. It is incredibly hard to be cautious all the time. There you are, walking or driving down the street, with a million thoughts shooting through your mind, your body is in auto-pilot mode. You subconsciously know where you are headed but are you really paying attention? Is it possible that something sudden could catch you off-guard? In these moments of routine humdrum, it would be nice to have a go-to strategy, tucked away somewhere in the depths of your pockets, to help you out in a case of danger. Yep, your smartphone is capable of doing that.

In this article, we will take a look at an app that was recently launched on the App store, has seven patents and is supposedly the best automated personal security app available for free.

To make you understand the working of the technology present in the app, in different scenarios, we would like to tell you a story. A story about Lily. Lily is a typical city person who likes to walk around the city and take her car out for longer commutes.

Scenario 1

Suppose, Lily is driving her car on the highway, it is pretty late into the night and unfortunately, she gets into an accident. The force of the collision knocks her smartphone off its holder. But, luckily for her, PathGO senses that crash and immediately starts beeping, counting down the seconds to when an emergency message would be sent to all of Lily’s latest contacts with the following details.

  • Her current location
  • A live tracking link
  • Quick call to action button

How does this safety feature work? How can PathGO measure impact?

Accident protection mode -Impact sensing - PathGO Security App
The app features full control over the parameters and their sensitivities

PathGO can detect an impact in any case of physical activity like running, driving, biking etc. There are three sensors available in your smartphone that are activated and used (either separately or in unison) for this feature to work. These three sensors are

  • Gyroscope – Measures angular velocity and is used to detect accidents that include rolls
  • Accelerometer – Measures acceleration/deacceleration and is used to detect sudden changes in speed (impacts)
  • Barometer  – Measures pressure but can also be used to check altitudes and detect accidents involving free fall

This feature works automatically in the background and you can fine tune the sensitivities of the sensors or switch it off in the settings section of the app.

Scenario 2

Lily is taking a walk through a shady neighborhood. It’s quite isolated and Lily feels unsafe. So she activates the Keyword function on PathGO. In case an emergency presents itself, she just has to shout out some words (of her choice) and the app gets to work. First off, it records a small sound clip, then sends a message to all the listed contacts with her current location, call-to-action button, and live position tracking.

The feature

Listening mode - PathGO Security App
The listening mode can be accessed directly from the homepage or you can schedule it to start automatically at a certain instant (left). Users can set their own keywords to activate the emergency countdown (right)

PathGO has a listening mode function, which can be activated right from the home screen. This feature listens to certain keywords using the phone’s microphone, which when detected, initiates voice recording, an alarm and then sends a message to all pre-selected contacts with all the important information as mentioned above, along with a short audio clip of a preselected duration. The listening mode alarm can be activated with a loud scream too.

If your phone is in a bag or tucked deep into your jacket, you may need a pair of earphones with a mic for this feature to work.

Scenario 3

Lily has a long walk towards her university and she passes a couple of shady areas in her route. She pre-sets these locations in her PathGO app and the app activates itself for that particular region. In the case of any emergency that the phone detects within this region, the security system kicks in.

The feature

Geofence protecction mode - PathGO Security App
Setting up a geofence is easy. Users can set multiple geofences.

Using GPS and PathGO, you can create geofences. Essentially, geofences are areas where you want the app to activate its listening mode or accident protection mode. Or as stated above, you can use it to set a perimeter on a smartphone, which if breached by someone would alert you. This feature is a part of PathGO’s ability to connect multiple devices via the app. It extends to live location tracking too.

Additional features

  • Schedules
  • Activity exclusion
  • Instant SOS etc
  • Record videos

Upcoming features

Some of the upcoming features include

  • Proximity alarms
  • Close range messaging (send distress signals to closest security personnel like campus police, mall security, park rangers etc)
  • Voice commands
  • Cloud-based safety services.

Conclusion

The app works perfectly as soon as it is installed. All of the above screens give users an option to edit the preconfigured settings and get more control over them.

One of the best things about PathGO is that it uses self-learning algorithms to analyze each event on a case by case basis. For instance, if you trigger an alarm by accident and cancel it before the SOS signal gets sent out, the app learns this and makes sure that this anomaly doesn’t take place again.

PathGO is a culmination of nine years of work. The app is designed to work with the most minimum amount of manual actions. The developers believe that since emergencies present themselves unannounced, a safety app should be able to respond instantaneously, like a friend. PathGO makes ubiquitous security one step closer to reality.


Umair likes to devote his time surfing on the net gathering all the happenings around the world into one place, his mind. In his leisure time he likes clicking pictures.

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