Kiwi-owned safety app Get Home Safe has had a bumper first year in business exceeding its predicted downloads by thousands and an “encouraging” amount of interest from corporate clients looking to adapt the service.
The first app of its kind out of New Zealand, Get Home Safe (GHS) launched in late 2013 and immediately stormed to the number one spot in the New Zealand iTunes app store.
The brainchild of Kiwi entrepreneur Boyd Peacock, it was developed with services provided by Dunedin-based website and design company Firebrand.
Combining a heap of safety features including a safety timer, GPS tracking and alerts sent even without a working phone or coverage, GHS provides peace of mind for people undertaking everyday activities where there’s a potential risk.
Mr Peacock said the last 12 months had been “hugely rewarding” for him and the team and even bigger than he’d anticipated.
“I knew I was onto a good idea. I was surrounded by examples of how the app could potentially save people’s lives or prevent unnecessary injury due to people falling into trouble and being unable to call for help,” he said.
Mr Peacock launched Get Home Safe in Australia in November 2013 and worldwide gradually.
“GHS is now available in over 100 countries and most of our new users are now coming from outside New Zealand,” he said.
The app business is hugely competitive and industry research shows that of the million plus apps on the market, most apps (around 734,000 of them) don’t reach more than 10,000 downloads.
“It’s no Angry Birds, but we’re extremely pleased with our download and sign-up figures considering the sheer number of apps out there and the fact the average person will download just 25.
“Get Home Safe provides reassurance to a few hundred people a week doing anything and everything from hitchhiking to simply walking home from work or working alone on the farm.”
“Since the launch there have been numerous stories in the media of boaties, hunters, fishermen and everyday people getting into difficulty and being unable to call for help.”
“Just last week someone had to set their car on fire to get attention after being trapped for hours in a car that had left the road.
“I watch some of these accounts knowing Get Home Safe could have helped raise the alarm, meaning the outcome may have been different. It’s now about education,” said Mr Peacock.
“It’s encouraging to hear feedback and stories from around the globe of Get Home Safe helping people such as one North Island hunter who needed to raise the alarm to get him out of a tricky situation.”
“It’s now a case of educating even more people that the system can and has helped. The app is a much safer way of letting people know what you are up to.”
“Any time you’ve said “I will call you when I get home” or “I am just leaving now, see you in three hours”, you could have used GHS,” he said.
Get Home Safe has recently teamed up with Emmy award-winning app developer Stu Sharpe, who was part of the team behind the America’s Cup App, led by Dunedin’s Animation Research Ltd.
“This is an exciting area of expansion for us and one we want to launch next year with a couple of high-profile companies already on board,” he said.
Get Home Safe is a great solution for corporations with people working out of the office to replace existing manual journey management and phone in/phone out systems as well.
“I thought to myself, if only someone was monitoring the use and location of a smart phone on board it could have been apparent much earlier that the fishermen had capsized and even where it happened, the alarm could have been raised much earlier,” Mr Peacock said.