Have you ever found yourself in a dangerous situation, wishing you could instantly alert law enforcement, as well as a trusted group of people who may be nearby? Thanks to the recent release of several mobile applications designed to be used on smartphones, now you can. With just a click, send an alert to emergency services and your trusted friends to let them know you’re in distress.

The potential uses for such an app vary widely. Perhaps you’re being pursued down a dark alley or followed on the bus. Those with severe peanut allergies will also see another potential use for the program. Such a service presents the possibility of notifying those who may be nearby and who are familiar with their allergy.

One such app, recently launched by Guardly Corp. of Toronto, functions as a ‘mobile personal safety system.’ When activated, the program will simultaneously call 911 (or another pre-set number, such as a college campus emergency number) and send a distress signal to a preselected group of people via email or text messaging. The free version of this application enables users to send alerts via phone, email, or SMS (text) messaging to a preselected group. For $10 per month, users can also gain access to the ability to send photos and GPS location data and activate a loud siren on their phone.

Josh Sookman of Guardly explains the motivation behind the program: “Not every incident or situation requires 9-1-1 escalation and sometimes friends, family members or neighbors who are nearby can respond to a call for assistance even faster. We’ve created a mobile app that provides a simple way to bring your personal safety network together instantly, and escalate an emergency to 9-1-1 at any point during an incident.”

The program is currently available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users, with versions being developed for both the BlackBerry and Android platforms. Read more about it here: http://business.financialpost.com/2011/04/07/torontos-guardly-launches-v…

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