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Mr. Gabriel, the safety app that actually solves problems (and works on Apple Watch!)

Mr. Gabriel is a safety app that lets you inconspicuously get help because no bad guy is going to let you dig for your phone and call 911.

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mr. gabriel

mr. gabriel

Most personal safety apps fail

Imagine you’re a 23 year old young lady just starting out in real estate, let’s say. You get a call from someone that wants to see two houses up the street from you, and you hop in the car to open that door, hungry for a sale. But you don’t know who the caller really is, and no one knows you’ve left to show homes. You get a bad vibe from the couple who doesn’t ask anything about the house, but follows you around the dark interior until they corner you in a closet.

Do you think they’re going to let you dig in your purse for your phone so you can call 911 or maybe even find your safety app, trigger it, and wait for a response? Nope.

Mr_GabrielBut with an inconspicuous tap of your Apple Watch, help could be on the way if you have the Mr. Gabriel personal safety app. Founder and CEO Virginie Gretz is a former Googler who has actually been in a troubled situation, having fallen and been forced to crawl for nearly ten hours to grab a phone in the next room. Imagine if she could have just tapped her watch and alerted her top three contacts (called “Angels”) of her name, number, and exact location without having to type a damn thing.

Mr. Gabriel users can manually activate the alert OR they can choose one of the preset modes (called Halo Modes) which currently include “Run,” or “Walk With Me,” to set a surveillance time during which the Apple Watch sensors will pick up any suspicious moves and automatically alert Angels if they don’t respond to the prompt asking if they’re okay.

Geolocation is only requested and sent when an alert is triggered. In the next iteration, geolocation will be updated every 15 minutes once an alert has been triggered: this is specifically intended for abduction cases or when the victim is being moved.

Take a look at how it works:

How Mr. Gabriel is different than competitors

The personal safety app pool is deep and there are endless competitors, but the truth is that most of them are no longer active, and none as comprehensive.

Mr. Gabriel addresses the very real issue of 911 being flooded with non-urgent calls, sometimes forcing urgent calls to wait – it uses your contacts like filters as the first touch point, so be sure your “Angels” understand their responsibility.

It’s also different because incorporating the watch means it’s always there – no falling and crawling, no fighting an attacker to let you use your phone, just an inconspicuous tap (we recommend practicing being discreet and having it readied when you’re alone).

Most apps allow you to tap-to-alert, but the Mr. Gabriel sensors can be activated for surveillance of our movements and send an alert if it detects you can’t respond to the prompt asking if you’re okay.

Privacy is a huge issue, and several competitors have been hacked and used to scam the elderly. With Mr. Gabriel, geolocation is only picked up when an alert has been activated.

The app is free and will offer in-app purchases in the future, but we’re watching them expand to partner with companies to scale at enterprise level (having done a deal last with with a major insurer who will be offering it to their clients).

Whether you’re in frequently dangerous situations or you just run solo, this is the personal safety app that actually makes sense to us.

#MrGabriel

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

Tech News

Onboarding for customers and employees made easy

(TECH NEWS) Cohere enables live, virtual onboarding at bargain prices to help you better support and guide your users.

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onboarding made easy

Web development and site design may be straightforward, but that doesn’t mean your customers won’t get turned around when reviewing your products. Onboarding visitors is the simplest solution, but is it the easiest?

According to Cohere–a live, remote onboarding tool–the answer is a resounding yes.

Cohere claims to be able to integrate with your website using “just 2 lines of code”; after completing this integration, you can communicate with, guide, and show your product to any site visitor upon request. You’ll also be able to see what customers are doing in real time rather than relying on metrics, making it easy to catch and convert customers who are on the fence, due to uncertainty or confusion.

There isn’t a screen-share option in Cohere’s package, but what they do include is a “multiplayer” option in which your cursor will appear on a customer’s screen, thus enabling you to guide them to the correct options; you can also scroll and type for your customer, all the while talking them through the process as needed. It’s the kind of onboarding that, in a normal world, would have to take place face-to-face–completely tailored for virtual so you don’t have to.

You can even use Cohere to stage an actual demo for customers, which accomplishes two things: the ability to pare down your own demo page in favor of live options, and minimizing confusion (and, by extension, faster sales) on the behalf of the customer. It’s a win-win situation that streamlines your website efficiency while potentially increasing your sales.

Naturally, the applications for Cohere are endless. Using this tool for eCommerce or tech support is an obvious choice, but as virtual job interviews and onboarding become more and more prevalent, one could anticipate Cohere becoming the industry example for remote inservice and walkthroughs.

Hands-on help beats written instructions any day, so if companies are able to allocate the HR resources to moderate common Cohere usage, it could be a huge win for those businesses.

For those two lines of code (and a bit more), you’ll pay anywhere from $39 to $129 for the listed packages. Custom pricing is available for larger businesses, so you may have some wiggle room if you’re willing to take a shot at implementing Cohere business-wide.

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Tech News

Smart clothing could be used to track COVID-19

(TECH NEWS) In order to track and limit the spread of COVID-19 smart clothing may be the solution we need to flatten the curve–but at what cost?

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COVID tracking clothing

When most people hear the phrase “smart clothing”, they probably envision wearables like AR glasses or fitness trackers, but certainly not specially designed fabrics to indicate different variables about the people wearing them–including, potentially, whether or not someone has contracted COVID-19.

According to Politico, that’s exactly what clinical researchers are attempting to create.

The process started with Apple and Fitbit using their respective wearables to attempt to detect COVID-19 symptoms in wearers. This wouldn’t be the first time a tech company got involved with public health in this context; earlier this year, for example, Apple announced a new Watch feature that would call 911 if it detected an abnormal fall. The NBA also attempted to detect outbreaks in players by providing them with Oura Rings–another smart wearable.

While these attempts have yet to achieve widespread success, optimism toward smart clothing–especially things like undershirts–and its ability to report adequately someone’s symptoms, remains high.

The smart clothing industry has existed in the context of monitoring health for quite some time. The aforementioned tech giants have made no secret of integrating health- and wellness-centric features into their devices, and companies like Nanowear have even gone so far as to create undergarments that track things like the wearer’s heart rate.

It’s only fitting that these companies would transition to COVID assessment, containment, and prevention in the shadow of the pandemic, though they aren’t the only ones doing so. Indeed, innovators from all corners of the United States are set to participate in a “rapid testing solutions” competition–the end goal being a cheap, fast, easy-to-use wearable option to help flatten the curve. The “cheap” aspect is perhaps the most difficult; as Politico says, the majority of people have a general understanding of how to use wearable technology.

Perhaps more importantly, the potential for HIPPA violations via data access is high–and, during a period of time in which people are more suspicious of technology companies than ever, vis-a-vis data sharing, privacy could be a significant barrier to the creation, distribution, and use of otherwise crucial smart clothing.

There is no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated, among other things, technological advancement in ways unseen by many of us alive today. Only time will tell if smart clothing–life-saving potential and all–becomes part of that trend.

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Tech News

Say goodbye to browser cookies – Google wants to give you ‘trust tokens’

(TECH NEWS) Google plans to do away with third-party cookies in favor of “trust tokens”. The question is, will they gain our trust?

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Privacy concerns should be at an all-time high with the sheer number of people working from home–something that may have been factored into Google’s recent decision to begin phasing out third-party cookies in their Chrome browser.

In doing so, Chrome would join browsers such as Safari and Firefox–two popular alternatives that have been more proactive about protecting user privacy in the past, according to The Verge.

Cookies, for those who don’t know, are small pieces of information stored on your computer by websites you visit; when third-party cookies are downloaded from these sites, they can track your activity across the internet, thus resulting in unpleasantries like targeted ads and location-based services appearing in your browser.

It’s all a little too accurate to your habits for comfort, so Google is proposing a separate solution: trust tokens.

No, trust tokens are not the newest form of currency on CBS Survivor–they’re “smart” iterations of cookies that will validate your access to a specific website without tracking you once you leave that page. This way, you get to keep your website-specific data–passwords, usernames, and preferences–without having your privacy encroached upon any more than Google already does (admittedly, that doesn’t sound like much of a change, but bear with us).

The real catch for trust tokens is that they don’t actually identify you the way that cookies do, and while some of the side effects of trust tokens may resemble cookie use–e.g., advertisers knowing you clicked on their ad–tokens are a decidedly less personal, more private way to access web content.

Google isn’t just throwing out third-party cookies as a gesture, it seems. Along with the announcement about trust tokens, Google mentioned that they plan to create more transparency around ads–specifically by allowing you to see why you’re seeing a specific ad and from whom and where the ad originated. An extension to help lend additional information about ads is also in the works.

These changes are expected to be implemented within the year. For now, though, you should stick to Firefox or Safari if you’re worried about cookies–you’ll be able to get back to your Chrome tabs soon enough.

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