In its first year, Kiwi app Get Home Safe (GHS) has been downloaded by thousands of people and received interest from everyday users as well as corporate clients.
GHS was created by Boyd Peacock and was developed with services provided by Firebrand, the Dunedin based website and design company.
With safety features such as a safety timer, GPS tracking and alerts that can be sent without a working phone or coverage, GHS was the first app of its kind in New Zealand.
Peacock say, “GHS provides reassurance to people doing anything and everything from hitchhiking to simply walking home from work or working alone on the farm.”
The app was launched in November 2013 and worldwide gradually. Peacock says it's now available in more than 100 countries around the world, with the majority of users coming from outside New Zealand.
GHS immediately went to the number one spot in the New Zealand iTunes app store and Peacock says the year following the launch has been rewarding and even bigger than he anticipated.
He says following the iOS launch in August 2013, GHS received an unprecedented amount of media coverage and a number of enquires from everyday users as well as corporates.
A contributor to this success was the fact that the app was named a finalist in the 2013 New Zealand innovation awards.
“I knew I was onto a good idea," says Peacock. "I was surrounded by examples of how the app could potentially save people’s lives or prevent unnecessary injury due to people falling into trouble and being unable to call for help."
Peacock notes how competitive the app industry is. Research shows there are more than a million apps on the market and approximately 734,000 don’t reach more than 10,000 downloads.
“In just 12 months we’ve breezed past our first year goal of 10,000 downloads, which is quite an achievement for a little start-up company,” says Peacock.
“It’s no Angry Birds, but we’re extremely pleased with our download and sign-up figures considering the sheer number of apps out there and the fact the average person will download just 25," he says.
Hundreds of people use the app every week, and GHS is saving people from precarious situations, says Peacock.
“It’s encouraging to hear feedback and stories from around the globe of GHS helping people such as one North Island hunter who needed to raise the alarm to get him out of a tricky situation,” he says.
Future plans include an expansion into the corporate market.
“We’re working with a number of national corporate businesses to adapt the app to their company needs. This is focused around people working in industries where there may be a risk to their safety from others and those who work remotely and alone in rural areas,” says Peacock.
GHS has also teamed up with Stu Sharpe, the app developer who was part of the America’s Cup App team, lead by Dunedin’s Animation Research Ltd. Peacock says Sharpe’s expertise and knowledge will help them take the app to the next level.
Sharpe will work on ongoing app development and Firebrand will continue to assist with design and API services.