Noonlight: does this app keep you safer than an emergency number?


Have you ever walked late at night from university or work? Are you living in an unsafe neighborhood? Does your Uber driver look somewhat sketchy? Sadly, everyone experienced this kind of scenario at least once in his or her life. What can you do about it then? Well, you may find the solution using Noonlight, the safety app that could help you better than an emergency number.

How did all start?

The story of Noonlight started in 2013, at the University of Missouri. Zach Winkler, the developer of the app and the company’s CEO, had this idea after the concerning number of crime reports in the area. Moreover, the authorities were slow to identify the location of people who made 911 calls. Winkler mentions that “what most of us don’t realize is that 9-1-1 really doesn’t have your location when you call them. It takes them up to six minutes sometimes to get a 300-meter accuracy reading of where you are”. What started as a solution for the safety of local students evolved into an app with over 2 million users.

How does it work?

This app is designed to give you some security when, for example, you walk home late at night. If you feel like you are in danger, all you have to do is to open the app and hold down a button. If you let your finger up, then you have to enter a password. Not entering it means that you will receive a call and a text from the company to see whether that was a false alarm or not. If it isn’t, then someone from their call center will contact the police and give them all your details (name, phone number, and, most important, location).

Noonlight or emergency number?

A huge advantage this app has is that you don’t have to be in immediate danger to use it, unlike an emergency number. Its accessibility comforts many people when they are paranoid about their surroundings.

Moreover, Noonlight is connected to other apps, such as Tinder. Everybody knows how dangerous dating apps could be. You can also connect it to sensors, so the app can send automatic triggers (car crash, heavy smoke, medical emergency. If you are a first responder, such as a firefighter or a police officer, Noonlight has special features designed for you as well.

However, as even the company mentions, Noonlight isn’t made to replace 911. It might be better to call the emergency number directly if you are in a life and death situation. And unfortunately, this app is only available in the U.S., so you can’t use it in other countries.

“We provide a smarter and more advanced way to connect to police, fire or emergency medical help when you need it. We get highly accurate location data as well as other vital information from your smart devices, and our app, that can help you in an emergency, and we share that vital information with local first responders in the event you need help.”


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