In 2007, Lane Clements Mclean narrowly escaped a violent rape, and later, a mugging. After dealing with the “feelings of helplessness and fear that those attempts left behind,” she teamed up with Uta de Veer to create One Scream, a “personal safety app” for women.
One Scream is a smart app that can detect a “genuine panic scream,” even when your phone is buried deep in your purse. If you are in trouble and you scream, One Scream will notify the police of your location.
One Scream is all it takes
What about screams of delight or surprise? Apparently One Scream can “distinguish a true panic scream from other screams and sounds.”
When you are safe, One Scream doesn’t track your location or record you in any way. If you scream twice, it will record your scream and send it to the police. The phone will also play a siren, which could be useful for scaring off an attacker. The police are notified of your location, and the app opens a call between your phone and the police dispatch.
In order for the app to work, you have to have it running at all times. You also have to have your phone on, obviously, and if you are in an area with no service, the app can detect your scream, but will not be able to contact the police.
Hefty price for safety
Unfortunately, we live in a dangerous world, and people have to take precautions to protect themselves. And while I applaud de Veer and Mclean for finding a way to “turn something dark… into a force for good for others,” I’m always a little disturbed by products that turn fear into profit. And at £140, (about $204), per month, One Scream could prove very lucrative indeed.
While many women experience violence, all women (and of course, men) have to deal with the threat and fear of knowing we could be attacked at any time for no reason. We’ll always have to buy the pepper spray, take the self-defense classes, and download the latest safety technologies.
It is my hope that in the future, the level of creativity and insight put into One Scream is applied to innovative apps that work towards preventing violence.