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SecretlySafe is a new app that can help get you out of scary situations

(TECHNOLOGY) Safety is the number one priority for Realtors® who frequently go to potentially unsafe locations with potentially unsafe clients, SecretlySafe can help.

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The not-so-glamorous side of real estate

Realtors® are often put in the awkward position of being in potentially unsafe locations every single day. They are also frequently in cars and homes with clients they’ve never met before; this can unfortunately lead to very unsafe conditions.

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While there are many safety apps on the market, some of these apps are not inconspicuous. They also take a few seconds to load, launch, and utilize. Regrettably, many of the people you would need protection from, already know about these apps, making them all the less effective.

SecretlySafe and effective

While no app should be relied upon as your only sense of protection and security, in an emergency, this app can get you help quickly and discretely.

SecretlySafe is an app that uses voice recognition, a 24/7 dispatch center, and your phone’s GPS to allow you to get immediate help in an emergency by simply saying four words.

SecretlySafe runs in the background and they state it will not affect your battery (this is one of the things I would like to test). You can work and listen to music as you normally would, but when you need it, simply say your four-word phrase, and an alert will be triggered.

The best part of SecretlySafe is that you can use ANY four-word phrase to trigger an alert.

So especially in the case of Realtors who often have their clients in very close proximity, no one will know the alert has been activated. For example, you could choose the phrase, “it’s my birthday today” and that might sound harmless to everyone else, but it will deploy your alert. Of course, you want to make this a phrase that isn’t often used, but even in the event of a “false alarm” SecretlySafe has you covered.

False alarms and serious emergencies

If you accidentally trigger a false alarm, SecretlySafe’s operators will contact you. You will then need to provide your 4 digit PIN to let them know it’s okay to cancel sending police to your location. You have complete control over what you share with SecretlySafe, but you also have the option to add a personalized message you want relayed to the police. You can also set it to automatically text two emergency contacts when an alert is triggered.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you can’t talk, there’s a built-in panic button.

Simply hold your finger down for 5 seconds to instantly trigger an alert. While an alert is active, their operators will receive continuous, automatic updates on your GPS coordinates so they know exactly where to send police.

If speculation is proven

I have not yet been able to try the app as it is currently in closed beta, but if it operates as well as it sounds like it will, it could be a fantastic backup plan for men and women who feel unsafe. SecretlySafe is one of the first apps to not market solely to women; men are not naturally safe.

Both men and women, especially Realtors®, need to take as many additional safety precautions as they can to keep themselves safe in the field. Would you try this app?

#SecretlySafe

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

Real Estate Technology

Transcribe your flood of meetings with Tony

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) With all the audio meetings that have to take place now it might be useful to get a transcriber, TonydoorAI is a free one that’s perfect for you.

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While meetings sometimes (rightfully) get a bad rep for being a waste of time, there are often moments where meetings are crucial for the betterment of your work. And, in these cases, meetings can be particularly daunting.

You’re worried about how to dress, what to say, and how to say it, all while retaining the information presented and taking helpful notes for your future self. It’s impossible to do all of that at the same time and feel like you hit it out of the park.

Even with our current world of video meetings from home, it can still be hard to manage all of those components and take detailed notes that will make sense in the future. However, there may be a friend who can help.

TonyDoorAI is an AI assistant for calls and video meetings. Users can turn it on to record meetings on Zoom or Google Meet.

The AI can transcribe in 120 languages and can summarize in two minutes with 95 percent accuracy. This is a largely untapped system of record that is designed with remote teams in mind.

The system also provides time-stamped notes and works to keep the communication between customers or employees smooth and transparent. TonyDoor has strong analytic skills built into the platform that track a conversation’s theme and structure – in only one hour, the system will review an hour-long meeting into your CRM.

There are plans tailored for all business types, including a free plan that offers four hours of transcription per month, records Zoom and Google Meet, provides time-stamped notes, and integrates with Slack and Calendar.

On the website, Tony states that only the user owns the data and that they do not sell or use data for their interests. Additionally, Tony explains the encryption of data as, “We encrypt your data at rest, including emails, calendar events and other personal identifiable metadata. We use a 256-bit AES encryption in storage and a 256-bit SSL/TLS encryption in transit. Our database is hosted in a Virtual Private Cloud with AWS.”

Tony sounds like an ideal helper for new client calls, interviews, and anything where you want to retain information. Give us your thoughts on AI transcription in the comments!

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Real Estate Technology

Toronto neighborhood of the future gets canceled, thanks COVID-19

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Google partner company cancels technological utopia project in Toronto, Ontario, amid pandemic financial uncertainty. Damn you COVID-19!

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toronto quayside

Sidewalk Labs has announced the termination of a new-age urban paradise to be built in the world’s societal paradise due to the pandemic-induced apocalypse: the new-and-improved Quayside, Canada will not be.

The project was a 12-acre technological utopian neighborhood on the Toronto eastern waterfront. Sidewalk Toronto would combine “forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create people-centred neighbourhoods that achieve precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.”

The project was a collaborative effort between Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company owned by Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and Waterfront Toronto, the local nonprofit steward of the area. Launched in October 2017, Sidewalk Labs committed to a $50 million USD investment for initial planning and testing.

According to the announcement by Sidewalk Labs CEO Daniel Doctoroff, the work completed to date on Quayside “represent[s] a meaningful contribution to the work of tackling big urban problems, particularly in the areas of affordability and sustainability. This is a vital societal endeavor, and Sidewalk Labs will continue our work to contribute to it.”

Sidewalk Labs has made many a grandiose proclamation for the contributions of this project to inspire new models for sustainable transportation, waste management, and affordable housing. But the execution of this vision has not been without controversy. The project has been criticized over the years by Toronto residents for its dubious regard to privacy standards and personal data collection, such as motion-sensor cameras to track people’s movements and manage transportation accordingly. At one point, Sidewalk Labs proposed to expand the project to a 350-acre plot of undeveloped land.

Despite Sidewalk Labs emphasis on the importance of the project and its significance in the context of the social and physical shifts the world has made to adapt to COVID-19, the announcement gave no indication that the project will be reinitiated at a later time.

For now, the announcement only indicates that Sidewalk Labs will continue other internal projects and external investments. Some of Sidewalk Labs other projects include Proto-Model X (PMX), a digital model for manufacturing tall timber buildings, and a Clean Recycling pilot to help apartment habitants improve waste and recycling habits. Sidewalk Labs also invests in other companies working on the front lines of urban innovation.

While the world may be no worse for the wear without a heated-sidewalk Zion, the project cancellation is definitely a disappointment. I was really looking forward to moving to Google Town after coronavirus decimates my local population and economy.

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Real Estate Technology

Google Duo expands to support 32-people calls to compete in new Zoom world

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Google Duo is expanding to include 32 people on a call to compete with WhatsApp. Zoom had better watch out, here is another competitor coming up.

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Google Duo

Google Duo is expanding and at it couldn’t come at a better time for the renaissance of video calling. While social distancing is keeping us away from friends and loved ones, messaging services are keeping connections alive and remote working viable. Google Duo is making plans to expand group calls to accommodate 32 people, becoming a stronger competitor with Zoom and Google Meet.

Duo is catered towards families and friends through its features like doodles, masks, and the recently-launched Family Mode. Thanks to Google’s popularity with contacts and gmail accounts, it’s betting users will find convenience in the platform fluidity.

Well, WhatsApp didn’t take this challenge laying down. The app announced its moving towards support video calls with up to 50 people. The feature (currently in beta version in the desktop app), functions by transferring users into new Facebook Messenger Rooms. As of this publication, the WhatsApp mobile version only supports 8 users per call. Since it was purchased by Facebook, WhatsApp, combined with Messenger, could rise to become a widely utilized video call platform.

What’s a little confusing is why Google has 3 separate video conferencing tools at all. Google Hangouts, Google Meet, and Google Duo. Why is Google competing with itself? Surely they are splitting users between the 3 instead of backing 1 to take the top spot from Zoom. Which hand isn’t talking to a 3rd foot?

While more seems like a good idea, we’re all figuring out that there’s a critical threshold where online video call devolve into a garbled mess where people can’t get a word in or progress the conversation in a meaningful manner. Every company seems to be trying take away Zooms domination of the market by being able to add more people to a call, but why not better compression, more security, ease of use, better UI. These are the features we demand out of other programs, but I have only heard complaints, but seen no solutions.

In the meantime, we as consumers will have plenty of options to continue navigating communication and workflow in a COVID-19 world and beyond.

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