App calls for emergency aid with one click

Singapore Poly students (from left) Nicolas Wee, Deswanto, Claris Tham and Lee Wei Yan demonstrating the Call Police app they designed at the school's annual Project Showcase yesterday. Fellow team member Tng Xin Kai was not pictured.
Singapore Poly students (from left) Nicolas Wee, Deswanto, Claris Tham and Lee Wei Yan demonstrating the Call Police app they designed at the school's annual Project Showcase yesterday. Fellow team member Tng Xin Kai was not pictured.PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Project to help 999 callers among student innovations at Singapore Poly showcase

Imagine you are being chased and want to call the police for help, but you can hardly breathe, much less tell the police your location over the phone.

A new app that helps you dial 999 with the press of a button and sends your particulars and location directly to the police may be a lifesaver. It can also send a message to your family, alerting them to the emergency.

The app, Call Police, was on display yesterday at the Singapore Polytechnic's annual Project Showcase featuring more than 200 third-year student projects.

The prototype, not yet available to the public, is the result of a six-month collaboration between officers from Jurong West Neighbourhood Police Centre and five business information technology students from the polytechnic.

The app does away with the need for 999 callers to describe their location, which often wastes precious time if they are panicking or lost. Call Police's other features include an alarm and an embedded camera to capture evidence at a crime scene.

One of the students who designed the app, Mr Nicolas Wee, 19, said: "Let's say you're getting harassed or running away from someone - a shrill alarm can be activated by shaking your phone vigorously."

When contacted, the police confirmed the collaboration but declined to provide further details.

If made a reality, the app would be a step up from the police's current app, Police@SG, which allows users to view police advisories and make non-emergency reports.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force also has a mobile app, myResponder, which notifies volunteers if a cardiac arrest case occurs nearby, so they may assist in first aid before an ambulance arrives.

Yesterday, Nanyang Polytechnic's (NYP) School of Design also showcased 188 of its student projects at the National Library Building in Victoria Street. NYP's exhibits are on display until tomorrow.

Design School exhibits at the Singapore Poly showcase will be open for public viewing from tomorrow until March 17. The rest of the showcase featuring exhibits from the school's other faculties ends today.


Correction note: An earlier version of the article stated that Nanyang Polytechnic School of Design displayed 87 student projects. NYP has clarified that there are 188 student projects on display at the National Library, Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2016, with the headline 'App calls for emergency aid with one click'. Print Edition | Subscribe