Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Covert Alert app offers voice-enabled protection

9/11/2018

I have a friend who sells real estate and her job sometimes takes her alone into sketchy neighborhoods. I need to tell her about Covert Alert.

Covert Alert is a mobile app that can an instant lifeline to friends, work colleagues and, if necessary, to emergency services. The app operates covertly because it listens to your voice and automatically sends pre-programmed messages to selected contacts.

When you say "protect me now,” it immediately begins recording both your voice and the sounds around you. And it begins listening for other trigger words or phrases that will launch those messages.

To set up Covert Alert, you start by choosing which friends or family members receive your alerts. You can enter a contact manually or select from your current contact list.

Then you choose your personal trigger words. It might be something like "leave me alone" or a more innocuous phrase like “popsicle” “German shepherd.”

Your primary trigger words will send a text message to your selected contacts telling them that you are in trouble and asking them to call 911. The message includes a mapping link to let your contacts know your exact location.

The developers of Covert Alert say they will soon enhance the app to link it directly to local 911 emergency services. Instead of going through a call center, as some safety apps do, Covert Alert will connect connect to 911 dispatchers and provide both a GPS location and live audio from the user's phone.

Users can also program two custom messages that have their own trigger words. They covertly send a text message to your friends. You might use those messages to tell a friend that your blind date is a bomb and that you will call them within the hour. Another could ask them to call you so you can stage an early exit from an uncomfortable situation.

When you tell the app to “stop protecting me,” Covert Alert stops listening but saves the audio that it had recorded when it was active.

Covert Alert is available as a free download for Apple or Android devices. New users get 15 minutes of recording time and 50 text messages. When those are exhausted, users can buy more minutes and messages through the app.

For more details, check out the video below and visit the Covert Alert website.







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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.

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