this app could completely change how you feel walking alone at night

'Companion' lets your friends join you on your walk home, virtually.

by i-D Staff
08 September 2015, 11:40pm

As a woman - or as a non-binary person - walking anywhere after dark can be a nerve racking experience. Most men might feel comfortable strolling along, headphones in with their favourite song blaring. But for women, it's an entirely different experience—the pace is fast, punctuated by frequently looks over each shoulder. 

Companion is an app that's out to change that. Created by college students Danny Freed, Jake Wayne, Lexie Ernst, and Katie Reiner, the app allows user's friends and family virtually accompany them on their way, making sure they reach their destination safely. 

Here's how it works: before heading from one destination to the next, a Companion user requests that one (or more) people be their companion on their way home. They don't even need to have the app, but if they do they can track your live progress on a map. The user then enters the destination, so the friend has a good idea of how long the journey should take. If something seems off—say your pace changes quickly, you wander off-track or your headphones get yanked out - the app gives you 15 seconds to confirm that everything's okay—if not, it'll alert your companion and send out loud alarm noises. You'll also get the option to call the police.

Right now, the app designed to work in the US, but the global response should soon see international compatibility. 

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