In a world where women are still twice as likely as men to fear walking home alone, and are being told to change their facial expressions in order to deter rape, apps like Safe Trek are vital. Created by University of Missouri graduate Zach Beattie, along with friends Nick Droege, Aaron Kunnemann, and Zach Winkler, Safe Trek ensures that women traveling alone are protected by a simple button which, if released, prompts the user for a secure, four digit passcode. If the passcode isn't typed in within 10 seconds, local police are notified and dispatched to the user's location.
It's a simple enough concept, but it's already doing some amazing things. Because Safe Trek works on a "dead man's switch" concept, there's no need to worry about opening a new app and typing in your information, which is entered after the initial download. In an interview with his alma mater in May 2013, Beattie admitted that the motivation behind the app was to ensure nervous parents of their child's well-being once they were out on their own. "I used to work for New Student Programs [at the University of Missouri], and the number one question parents would ask is ‘How do I know my student is going to be safe when I send them to [school]?’ That was the challenge we were faced with."