Last month I was contacted by the React Mobile and was so impressed with this app that helps keep our kids (and family members) safe. Basically, React Mobile is an app that allows you to use your mobile device as a tool that will alert your pre-established network of emergency contacts with the push of a button. React is a powerful tool that was inspired by React Mobile cofounder, Robb Monkman’s life-altering experience of being held at gunpoint in a home invasion. My mother-in-law and I were talking about how we plan to download this app as well just for a peace of mind for ourselves when we find ourselves walking alone at night. I had a chance to speak to the Mr. Monkman about the motivation behind creating React Mobile and how it helps keep our kids safe.
1. Tell us what was the motivation behind creating React Mobile.
I first realized the need for a product that could be used as a silent alert as a university student when I was the victim of an armed robbery. The original idea for our app was to create a more efficient and cost effective solution to the blue light emergency phones found on college campuses around the country. While there is no doubt that these blue light emergency phones serve a purpose, we wanted to leverage current smartphone technology and put the power of an emergency blue light phone in the palm of every students’ hand, thus, arming individuals with a more effective safety tool that can be used on and off campus. We’ve created a tool that could be used to discreetly and quickly alert a wide network, including the authorities, of an emergency and its location. After testing several beta products for over a year, we launched the React Mobile safety app in March 2013.
2. What has been some of your more precious moments that parents have shared with you about the app and how it has helped them.
Some of the most memorable stories I’ve heard from moms are listed below.
• One of the most thrilling things has been to see how people are excited about the possibilities that they can use our app to help themselves and others around them. Recently a real estate agent mentioned how React Mobile can help deaf children during an emergency situation. We never thought about how our app could help users who can’t hear or communicate with the authorities. The woman described a situation where her son (who is deaf) was at home alone when their house was robbed. He hid in the closet not knowing the cops had been alerted by the home security system. The cops had no idea the young boy was in the house, and the boy had no way of communicating with the authorities (or his parents). If her child had the React Mobile app he could have easily alerted a wide network of family and friends to let them know that he was in trouble and where he was. Her son also could have used the geo-stamped group messaging which sends a link to the users location with every emergency text message.
• We’ve also built a great relationship with a mom who runs an organization called ClearCause Foundation. Her son died while he was studying abroad and she likes how our app can help to enhance the safety of teens and students studying or traveling abroad, by sharing their location and translating the emergency phone number according to the appropriate country. The mission of ClearCause Foundation is to keep American youth safe overseas.
• Another reason why moms seem to like React Mobile so much is because now, they can run at night without worry. Many parents don’t have time to work out until their significant other gets home, which can be a dangerous act. We’ve heard from many parents that now have peace of mind knowing that someone can keep track of them during their nightly run.
3. Any news you want to share with Penelope’s mates?
We’ve recently made our app free! Now families can take advantage of our premium “Follow-Me” feature without a $1.99 monthly fee. Our Follow-Me feature is perfect for keeping track of kids when they are playing in the neighborhood/community, when you’re going on a run, and for providing young ones with a one touch SOS button. With React, children don’t have to remember any phone numbers – they just need to press a big button if they’re in trouble.
We’ve also launched React Mobile on Android. The app is currently available for many Android devices on Google Play, with additional releases are anticipated later this year.
This summer we started to offer international support and React Mobile has world-travelers covered, with availability in 39 countries and more launching soon.
Recently, we also introduced a custom branding solution that allows universities, K-12 schools, and businesses to have their very own custom security app to share with their students and employees. For an annual fee, organizations can have a custom branded safety app, with their logo, colors and user interface customizations that has all of the safety features of React Mobile.
How It Works
React Mobile uses several unique features to enhance safety, such as the app’s innovative “Follow Me” feature. This real-time location sharing capability allows app users to have pre-selected contacts follow their route in real-time until they reach their destination safely. Ideal for runners, families and college students, this allows designated users the security of alerting friends when they feel a danger may exist without having to escalate a potential situation that may not occur with law enforcement. If an incident does occur users can send an SOS alert to their trusted contacts and will be automatically prompted to call 911.