RI woman creates safety app that may save lives
LINCOLN, R.I. —
Whether you're going out for a run by yourself, heading to meet someone for a blind date or simply trying to find family members after a tornado or hurricane, Tammy Fuller's "Find Me" app could work for you.
"I could say, 'Oh, you know, I'm going to meet Joe for drinks at such-and-such a place,'" Fuller said, showing NBC 10 the app she developed.
Growing up in North Attleboro, she and her cousin Kim Fuller loved tracking storms.
"We were always very interested in science, and our grandmother was very close to us, we would track the hurricanes together," Fuller said.
Tammy went into technology and software. She lives and works in Lincoln. Kim took the emergency management and public relations route and landed in Tornado Alley - Tulsa, Oklahoma. She came to Tammy with an idea for an app after the Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes.
"There's lots and lots of stuff before, here's the tornado's coming, here's what you need," Tammy Fuller said . "Once the tornado hits, there's nothing to help after the storm passes."
Here's how it works: You set a timer on the app, and if you don't clear it before the timer expires, the app sends email, text and phone alerts with your last known GPS coordinates to up to ten contacts.
You can also press a panic button or shake your phone to activate a panic alert.
"Then a map will come up and it'll show you where exactly the person is," Gerald Deane said.
Deane is the president and CEO of Echo Messaging, the company through which he and Fuller developed the app. The company employs about six people and several others on a temporary basis. Eventually, as they expand, they tell NBC 10 they hope to have a staff of about 25 people.
The app does have a one-time download fee of $2.95.
Fuller says the initial feedback on the tornado app led them to develop another version.
"People started saying, 'Well, I want to just use it if I'm jogging or if I'm meeting a blind date or my kid's walking home from school,'" Fuller said.
The developers said they're testing a feature that would take photos of your location if you hit the panic button and immediately upload them to a cloud. But they say no one gets your tracking information unless there's an alert that you're in danger.
"It's really designed so that you're in charge," Fuller said.