EmergenSee is a smartphone app that lets you contract your friends or the authorities with a video of your surroundings when you feel like you’re in danger. When you feel in danger, you activate the app which taps into the phone’s camera to videotape the goings-on. The video is then sent to your pre-selected contacts, or a private security firm, if you have a premium subscription. The idea is that it allows you piece of mind and the added security of video to keep you safe. There are also corporate and university subscriptions that send your video to your company’s or college’s private security company at participating organizations. The app is still fairly new and only has a few accounts. No sharks took a chance on EmergenSee.
EmergenSee is the type of product that is immediately easy to find flaws in. It’s unclear how you are supposed to use your phone’s video camera if you feel in danger. Do you hold the camera behind you and tape the person stalking you? Do you keep it aimed in front of you? Not only that, but what good does sending a video do? I suppose it could help apprehend someone after they have committed a crime, but that doesn’t really keep you safer, does it? The app is free, but it costs $9 a month to get security monitoring. That seems steep. For a product you hope to never use, how many people would pay $9/month for peace of mind? Especially when 911 is free and just a phone call away. The entrepreneurs mentioned that EmergenSee provides superior GPS monitoring than 911 alone. This is certainly a selling point, but I hardly see how it would encourage someone to purchase a premium subscription. Perhaps I am biased against this product because I don’t like things that traffic in paranoia. This is the sort of product that sells fear. You want people to feel afraid and like they need this product or they will get hurt. I am sympathetic to the victims of crime, but I don’t feel like this product would help really anyone, anywhere. Suggesting that it would is damaging, and frankly, wrong.