Two students in the UK developed an app to keep women safe while going out. The Where You At app wants to accomplish this with a find your friends function and group messages over Bluetooth. To improve the find your friends function, the developers have acquired detailed floor plans of different venues. The app is set to release at the end of September, during this year's Freshers week.
Where You At is developed by students Olivia Leigh and Tamzin Lent. Who designed it for fellow students with the goal of reducing fear, vulnerability and assault in nightclubs. The app works by setting up a "friend circle", also know as a group chat. Unlike traditional messaging apps like What's app, the Where You At app uses Bluetooth to transfer messages. This is very helpful in nightclubs, where the phone signal often sucks. If something is wrong, users can send a SOS message their group. Who can then find them using the apps location service and detailed floor plans of venues. The app will also save the time and location of the SOS message, which is helpful when a victim wants to fill charges. The app is set to launch during freshers week, the first week of college in the UK, which will be at the end of September.
To promote the app under venue management and make acquiring floor plans easier, Olivia and Tamzin provide them with precise visitor analytics. Which show them where their visitors are and how many are inside. This can help venues identify choke points and optimise their layout. If the venue allows it, users can even order drinks through the app, something that is very useful for clubs with table service.
The UK Police recently announced a plan to let plainclothes officers patrol bars and nightclubs in order to protect women from sexual abuse. The plan has stirred up a lot of controversy from women and people working in the nightlife. Especially in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, who was killed by a London Met Police officer. The developers of the Where You At app stated that:
“if young people (especially women) are assaulted or frightened, they will want to find their trusted friends and not anonymous staff, certainly not plain-clothes policemen. […] The Government’s new proposal for protecting women in bars and clubs through putting plainclothes cops in clubs appears an insulting and troubling idea.”