By: Bennett Friel – Staff Writer
One in five women will suffer attempted sexual assault during their four years in college. But what if there was a way to contact authorities with vital information in emergency situations faster, or to set routes via GPS so your friends can see your position in real time? This is now a reality with the app BlueLight, now available at the University of Dayton.
BlueLight’s mission statement is simple: “By providing our users with tools for everyday safety and emergency readiness, we empower them to fully explore their world.”
BlueLight was founded and is owned by Preet Anand. He developed the idea after learning about the frequency of sexual assault on college campuses during his firsty-year orientation in college. Immediately, he thought of his female friends, mother, sister and girlfriend and knew he had to do something about this issue.
One major feature of BlueLight is called “On My Way.” This eliminates the “home safe” text. You select a person or multiple people from your contacts who you want to share your location with, enter a destination and start your trip.
Your selected contacts will receive a SMS with a link to a map of your location in real time. When you are close to your destination and again when you have arrived, BlueLight will notify your selected contacts of your safe arrival.
BlueLight also has a “Request Help” section. When you request help from BlueLight, the app automatically contacts the appropriate responder. At UD, for instance, the app would contact Campus Safety. At a ski resort: Ski Patrol. Elsewhere: 911.
When responders receive a mobile call, they cannot track your location, leaving it up to you to tell them everything they need to know—while you are in a threatening and/or dangerous situation. With BlueLight, your exact location will automatically be included to save precious time.
Today, over 250 college campuses across the U.S. have implemented BlueLight.
After a 30-day free trial, a subscription to BlueLight costs $19.99 per year or $9.99 for students with an “edu” email address.