In 2012 Jill Meagher failed to return home after a night out with colleagues in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick.
Despite only having to walk 700 metres from the bar she’d been celebrating in with friends, she never made it home, being brutally assaulted and murdered at the hands of a stranger.
The crime shocked Australia, and spurred three mates to utilise technology as a way to keep women and children safe.
Matt Ball created the Safie App along with Ross Sbisa and Chris Jonker and spent years developing the technology that could alert emergency contacts if the user is in trouble, as well as capturing their location, along with audio and video recordings.
Matt told 96five’s Jess Drummond that in today’s technological age people should not just be able to disappear, as was the case with Jill Meagher.
“My co-founder Ross said that with CCTV and phones having mapping, there should be a better way that if people felt they were in danger, they should be able to let people know quickly, and we should be able to find where they are.”
Although the app was initially developed to keep women safe on a night out, the technology can also be used by parents to monitor the safety of their children.
“Our first thoughts were around that young person going out in the evening so we came up with a panic feature and an awkward feature, which could prompt a friend to call. With the panic feature it will record video from your phones front and back cameras, as well as sending a GPS location and recording audio which can all be accessed by your emergency contacts upon notification.”
“We now have an arrived safe button, which is perfect for kids and teenagers to let mum and dad know that they’ve arrived at school or another destination as it also sends their location.”
The Safie App is available for iPhone and Android. Listen to the full interview with Matt Ball in the audio player above.