INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A new app being developed in Indiana could revolutionize personal safety. It's called Covert Alert, and using unique, voice-activated phrases, it sends your exact location to five contacts, and begins a live audio recording of what's going on around you.
“Something happened with my family, and my mother, and it really hit home to us," said Covert Alert CEO Craig Bracken, “We were at a local bar, and as we were leaving, two men that had on hoodies were approaching her. I made a loud noise. I made the person go away. The people getting ready to attack her. Nothing was voice-activated, so it hit my brain, "Hey, you need that extra layer of protection with that voice.”
It works hands-free even if an attacker swipes the phone. Your friends and family can then tell law enforcement where you are, and let them hear what's happening. The phrases are programmed by the user, and only they know them. The app must be on in the background to pick it up and operate, even if the screen is dark. Users can also tell Siri to activate it if the app happens to be closed.
The company is working with local law enforcement to try, and get the app alerts and live recordings sent directly into cop cars nearby.
“I need those extra seconds to save those lives," said Covert Alert law enforcement advisor Donny Cook. He is an 18-year veteran in law enforcement and an active sheriff's deputy in Indiana. On having the live streams in cars he says, “We are collecting evidence while we are going to the scene."
“If you are ever kidnapped, or accosted, or abducted, thrown into a car, we also have miles per hour," Bracken said.
Covert Alert is available to download for free right now, but the alert will only go to your set up contacts.
The company continues to work on a product called C3VLAR360. The device is planted in a location like a classroom. A teacher's voice command starts a video and audio recording that sends the live stream to law enforcement in real-time. In the event of an emergency, first responders would have a view on the scene and know the exact room it's happening in.
"While everyone is running out, law enforcement is running in. That's our job," Cook said.
Bracken says at least one sheriff's department in central Indiana is talking with them about potentially putting the C3VLAR360 in all classrooms in the county.
The Covert Alert app for students would also play a factor in bullying cases, with students able to secretly record the conversation without the bullies knowing. That recording can be played by school administrators.