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Protecting Yourself

Protecting Yourself

A new standard emerges for personal security

For more than a century, the security industry has been providing anti-burglary and home monitoring services to homeowners. Today, traditional alarm and security monitoring services protect roughly 15 percent of American homes and a handful of rental units. The market has grown incrementally in the past decade with the advent of personal emergency monitoring, but these systems are bulky and require a static location.

So, what does this $28 billion industry need to do to double or triple their adoption numbers in the next decade? Shift their primary focus away from the protection of property and valuables to the real value proposition...protecting the person, their family and loved ones everywhere, all of the time.

In 2012, the mobile personal security (mPERS) market emerged, harnessing the power and features of smartphones, smart mobile devices and increased throughput of global cellular and public WAN networks. The rapid growth and maturation of mobile personal security market is born from the timely convergence of the mobile app distribution standard and the burgeoning bring your own device (BYOD) environment, creating an opportunity for unlimited easy, low-cost adoption and usage of professionally monitored mobile personal security systems.

This new app-based mobile personal safety and security standard transcends all previous security monitoring models because it’s no longer bound by a location, equipment and service calls. It goes with the family, employees and students everywhere they go, and it will continue to evolve and integrate even deeper into the smart-home.

Mobile personal safety and security will also expand far beyond the current user demographic and include adolescents, elderly and the “invincible” young adult as well as corporate America, allowing families and businesses, to be professionally monitored anywhere they may travel domestically and around the globe. The key then becomes not if an mPERS solution is right, but more of a what’s the best fit? What features, services and monitoring works best for my family, university or corporation?

The answer is pretty clear in today’s market when comparing current service providers. Almost all current offerings provide GPS tracking and monitoring. However, market and sector leading companies, such as EmergenSee, bSafe and Guardly offer a much more complete suite of features in their solution.

EmergenSee is like the “Swiss army knife” of mobile personal safety and security.

“The last year has been a blur with development, fundraising, sales and presentations,” said Jason D. Friedbert president of EmergenSee. “We are committed to providing the best possible mobile personal security solution that’s incredibly fast and easy-to-use, and is, literally, in the palm of your hands.”

Numerous appearances and interviews by Phil Reitnour, founder and CEO and Friedbert, on television and radio shows across the country, and appearing recently on ABC’s Shark Tank, have laid the groundwork for communicating the importance of mobile personal safety to millions.

Guardly safety app functions as a way to communicate with friends, family and authorities when you need help. The app transmits GPS location and allows users to communicate with members in a preselected safety group, security personnel or 911 authorities.

The bSafe app allows the user to be in constant communication with their pre-selected friends and contacts. This app allows the user to feel as though they are never alone. The technology behind this app allows users to be proactive in handling potentially dangerous situations.

Looking more deeply at mobile personal security, the question of markets and areas of usage inevitably arises. As is evidenced by security and alarm company websites and commercials, the offerings and use cases for these mPERS apps are endless. Along with the main focus of the everyday consumer, we are seeing quicker adoption and acceptance in areas like higher education and primary education; lone workers, such as real estate, energy and landscape services; transportation, railways and subways, and interstate systems; healthcare and NVA; stadiums & large event venues; and government, to name a few.

It is inevitable that, at some point in all of our lives, we will be alone and feel unsafe or need assistance or witness an incident, accident or crime, and this type of mobile solution makes a big difference. The adoption of mobile personal security monitoring by malls and large corporations, for their employees, while on campus, or at their site will continue to expand and drive adoption and usage.

The Importance of Personal Security

The importance of personal security has to do with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your family and your employees are all as protected as possible from various types of events.

If someone tries to attack a person while walking, he or she now has a security device that can personally activate depending on the situation. With a personal security system app, you can go about your day and evening, knowing that you’re just a tap away from getting the help you need in a dangerous or life-threatening situation.

Family, Friends and the Elderly Community

How many times have you put on the news and heard about another child being abducted? How many times have you heard over the past 30 days of a road rage incident that has turned into a murder? How often do you hear of assaults and rapes of young students on campus? Or abuse and neglect in nursing homes? All of these situations can now be combated with this new mobile technology.

Each one of us can arm ourselves and our loved ones with personal security technology on our smartphones that, with just one tap, can instantly reach the help you need so the proper authorities can come to the rescue.

Colleges and Universities

More and more universities are adding this new mobile technology into their existing security systems to create an additional layer of safety for all students, faculty and visitors.

Campus crime is a huge problem in our country and has been underreported, as these major institutions do not want their stellar reputations tarnished. Recently, the U.S. Department of Education published the final rules to carry out changes to the Clergy Act, requiring colleges and universities to collect and disclose crime statistics about the number of reported crimes that were investigated and determined to be unfounded.

In addition to new laws mandating stricter guidelines for campus crime, adding this new mobile security technology solution will now give every single student access to immediate help when in a dangerous situation. With this mobile security technology, if a young female student on campus is walking from the library to her dorm and someone is coming up upon her from behind, she can just tap the app and her exact situation will immediately signal campus security. Then campus security will receive an alert, and an exact visual of the situational experience, including GPS coordinates, so they can dispatch the immediate help that is required.

Corporations, Loan Workers and Government Agencies

We are all living under extreme stresses now more than ever before. With the real estate crash and jobless claims still at a high level, there are more workplace crimes occurring that are violent and deadly. This new mobile technology is helping with mass notification alerts, signaling entire work forces to stay clear of a certain location. Real estate agents across the country are now adopting this new personal security system technology, so that they can feel safer going out on calls, meeting strangers at vacant homes and lots. Government agencies are adopting this new technology and are incorporating it into their lone work forces that are out on the road all day long.

Why now?

The mPERS market combines the ease of mobile app usage with the availability of the BYOD environment. Smartphones, smart mobile devices and high bandwidth cellular and wireless networks are increasing and expanding around the globe. The market for this type of solution is growing, as our police and first responders are increasingly overburdened.

Based on a recent Pew Research study, 58 percent of all American adults have a smartphone. This equates to over 100 million adults between the ages of 18 to 65 years are using smartphone technology as of January 2013.

These apps allow the user to maintain his or her security from anywhere at anytime, in the palm of their hand, regardless of the situation. Real life situational experiences can be sent directly to professional monitoring centers, campus security and personal pre-selected contacts, so that the help you need will be dispatched, to provide the exact help that is needed.

This article originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of Security Today.

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