This is not an app that has millions of users or that is on the chart destroying apps list. But people who use Phree have found it invaluable. There is an app that helps users identify safe spaces in a city, currently in Delhi, through crowdsourced data and there are a number of users who find it useful enough to bring it to your phone.
The app was born from an idea of director Madhureeta Anand. Behind every idea there is a story and the Phree app has one too.
Madhureeta was out for an evening stroll in Gurgaon when she was physically assaulted by a stalker. The accident marked her throughout her life but instead of letting her fears take over her thoughts, she began to think if there was anything that could help women and everyone around the world. city.
Some time later, the Phree app was born. The app uses crowdsourced data, which is basically user input to evaluate public spaces.
Speaking about how the app works, Madhureeta says: “Phree For Safety allows users to rate facilities such as bars, gyms, restaurants, parks and public places such as streets. After rating them as safe or unsafe you can leave a review. ratings are then displayed on a map in real time. Blue is safe, red is unsafe, and gray is not marked. “
The app then asks its users if they are near an area marked as unsafe. It also prompts them to evaluate a place they are visiting.
While the Phree app looks promising, the chances of discrepancies that arise with the app cannot be ignored. Experiences are subjective and cannot be the same for everyone. There are chances that a particular place may not be safe for a woman after dark, but the same place may be marked as safe by a woman during the afternoon.
“Ours is a user-managed app and therefore users determine what is safe and what is not safe. Security is personal and dynamic. No one else can determine the parameters for an individual’s security. That said, we have a comments section where users will express their reasons for evaluating something safe or unsafe. Over a period of time, these reasons will become clear and then we will list the main reasons. Both for those evaluations and for those who access the evaluations, “he adds Madhureeta.
The app has some built-in filters to keep biases and ratings authentic. Madhureeta says that people can only rate a street or area once. They can change their rating but they cannot rate it more than once.
Many women find the app useful. In Delhi, many members of the transgender community facing violence and prejudice also find the app useful. “The transgender community has faced difficult times due to COVID. They are going to new areas, trying to make a living. It brought them into conflict with other people. They are using this app to let other women and transgenders know which areas are safe for them and which are not. So, for example, some parks have been marked as unsafe, “says Madhureeta.
The app has garnered some downloads on the Google Play Store, but apparently more people need to know this to work more effectively. After all, more users also means more location data. Madhureeta and her team have worked with communities, colleges, organizations and institutions for people to use the app. They collaborated with 150 of these institutes and communities.
“When we feel we have a solid rating base, we will increase our marketing efforts,” he says. For now, it appears the plan is to find safe and unsafe spaces in our cities, one assessment at a time.
Apps aren’t just for gaming or shopping. Some of them can even help users navigate life and the real world more safely. Phree is one such app, reveals its creator Madhureeta Anand.
- Phree app is an app that allows users to identify safe public spaces.
- The app shows a safe and unsafe basis of public spots based on women’s ratings.
- Phree is currently in operation in Delhi.