‘Life-Saving’ iPhone App Created By Person Who Drove By Brother’s Crash

By Alexandra Man March 07, 2011 Comments

A space engineer who drove by a car crash not knowing his own brother was the victim has developed an iPhone application that automatically sends an email with your coordinates to a loved one in a case of an accident.

Meidad Pariente, Israeli CEO of Spacecialist, was driving in the Israeli town of Be’er Sheva several years ago when he saw a car crash: “I decided not to stop as paramedics had already arrived. But when I drove by the injured person looked vaguely familiar,” Pariente told NoCamels. Pariente realized only hours later that his brother had gone missing and had been severely injured in the crash.

Two years on and with his brother recovered, Pariente has developed the app “MayDay Light,” which allows you to enter between one and five email addresses that will get a message of your choice in case of an accident. The app even allows you to configure the speed that will trigger the app, preventing false alarms when the phone is dropped, for example.

MayDay Light works by using the GPS and accelerometers built-in almost any smartphone. The app gets activated when the GPS detects a certain driving speed, while the phone’s accelerometer detects sudden changes in movement, such as an abrupt stop.

The app’s minimum speed can be changed to anywhere between 20 to 50 km/h, depending on the type of vehicle, such as bicycle or car and whether you are in the city or on the highway.

Pariente explains that “the iPhone’s accelerometer samples vehicles’ acceleration changes every 1/100 of a second, as the average car accident takes about 50-60 milliseconds.”

When the app identifies a car accident with its acceleration and GPS-based algorithm, it sets on an alarm which rings for 60 seconds. The alarm can then be turned off if the driver is unharmed. If the alarm is not turned off within 60 seconds, an email is sent to the pre-recorded e-mail addresses.

The e-mail sent out includes last known position using GPS coordinates and a link to Google Maps displaying the location of the accident. Pariente told NoCamels:“The app is built for people who lose consciousness, are in shock or  are having difficulty with their motor skills.”

MayDay Light has not yet included a feature that could notify emergency services automatically. “That would only be possible if every help and rescue unit opens a special email account for messages sent by the application,” said Pariente.

However, Pariente is adding other features such as the sending of an SMS message along with e-mail. ”I developed a working beta version of the SMS function,” Pariente explained.

To ensure his app works, Pariente told us he simulates accident-like environments and “a few minutes later I get worried phone calls from my friends and family – that way I know it works.”

The current version of the app is available for iPhone users for 1.99$.

Click here to watch a video about Mayday Light
Photo by tnarik

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