Car accidents happen every day. How can a location app help you after an accident? WJHG Channel 7 reports on the importance of a location app on your smart phone. For many years, emergency services have had a difficult time keeping pace with technology. Good news, they are catching up. It is our hope that the ability for emergency services to quickly respond to accidents will result in less tragic injuries. According to the WJHG Channel 7 website, a Panama City Beach man was found thanks to the help of his friends and technology after an early Monday morning accident on U.S. 98 left him in a critical condition. FHP reported that a 47 year-old male was driving his Harley Davidson Eastbound on 98 near Downing Street when, for unknown reasons, the rider crossed the median and entered the tree line and overturned his motorcycle. The male had crashed around midnight. He was unable to call anyone because of his injuries. His friends, however, were able to find him using a positioning app on his cellphone. Smith was located around 5:00 p.m. Monday night and was taken to Bay Medical Sacred Heart for his injuries.
So, what does a position app do? It reports your location to other users, and it can connect real-world locations to your personal location. How does it work? Smartphones today have a GPS chip that uses satellite data to calculate your exact position which services such apps as Google Maps. When a GPS signal is unavailable, geo-location apps can use information from cell towers to triangulate your general position, a method that isn’t as accurate as GPS, but has greatly improved in the recent years. Some geo-location systems use GPS and cell site triangulation.
I did some research and found the following smartphone apps with a personal location application.
1. Find My iPhone (iOS): This app is limited to iPhone users only (and is Apple’s proprietary method of locating a lost mobile). In order to use the service you will need to have updated your iPhone to iOS 5 and set up an iCloud account.
2. Lookout Mobile Security & Plan B (Android): This app is similar to iPhone’s app for iOS. Lookout Mobile Security provides a web-based control panel from which users can locate their Android device. Once the app has been installed and your device goes missing you’ll be able to disable silent mode to sound a loud alarm, remotely enable GPS to facilitate locating your device and view the location on a map.
3. Find My Phone (Windows Phone 7): This app is Microsoft’s equivalent and allows users to login at WindowsPhone.com in order to locate their device on a map. In addition to basic location, it’s possible to ring, lock and erase the contents of your device remotely from any Internet-connected computer.
4. Prey: Prey is an universal protection for your devices from thieves. It’s available for Android and iOS as well as Mac OS X, Windows and Linux computers too.
5. Find my Friends (iOS): iOS users can download Apple’s own Find my Friends app to keep in touch with friends who are also using Apple devices. Friends can be added according to their Apple IDs and once you’ve got a contact or two you can precisely locate that person’s current location on a map. Find my Friends automatically shares your location on-demand with contacts of your choice. You can choose not to share your location or use a temporary location if you’re concerned about privacy.
6. Google Latttude (iOS, Android & Others): An ideal cross-platform device for tracking your friends from iOS, Android, Blackberry, Symbian and even Windows Mobile (that’s Pre-Windows Phone). It is also possible to use Latitude via a web browser and once you’ve racked up a few miles worth of logs Google uses your location data to build up some interesting diagrams based on your activity