Turn your phone into a bodyguard: the?Companion app virtually accompanies you on journeys and warns friends and family if you’re in trouble.

Before setting off on a journey, users input a starting point and destination.?A designated ‘companion’ can then track the phone’s GPS on a map.?The free app periodically shows a button to the user asking ‘Are you OK?’?If they don’t press it within 15 seconds, the companion is sent an alert

If you’ve ever felt threatened walking home late at night, chances are you’ve phoned a loved one to make sure they know you’re safe.?But making calls not only makes your phone a target for thieves, it can also distract you from your surroundings, putting you at greater risk.?Now there’s an app that lets your family or friends track your journey and will call for help automatically if it senses you’re in trouble.

Before setting off on a journey, users of the Companion app input a starting point and destination A designated 'companion' can then track the phone's GPS on a map (pictured right). The free app periodically shows a button to the user asking 'Are you OK?' (left) and if they don't press it within 15 seconds, the companion is alerted

Before setting off on a journey, users of the Companion app input a starting point and destination A designated ‘companion’ can then track the phone’s GPS on a map (pictured right). The free app periodically shows a button to the user asking ‘Are you OK?’ (left) and if they don’t press it within 15 seconds, the companion is alerted

Called Companion, the main feature that distinguishes it from other tracking and GPS apps, such as Apple’s Find My Friends, is its ‘Are you OK?’ button.?Companion is similar to the SafeTrek app which uses the pressure sensor of smartphone touchscreens to create an alarm that will call for help if the user lifts their finger off.?Removing a finger triggers a screen asking for a four-digit pin code and if it is not entered it alerts the police and directs them to the user’s location.

The app costs $3 per month to use, but despite this has proven to be hugely popular, particularly with young women.?It already has more than 250,000 users, although is only currenly available in the US.?This can be anyone in the user’s contacts book, and they don’t need to have the app installed.?The ‘companion’ can then track the phone’s GPS to see where their loved one is at any time, while the app will periodically show a button on the user’s home screen asking ‘Are you OK?’?If they don’t press the button within 15 seconds, the companion is sent an alert.?The user is also given the option to call the police from within the app.?Elsewhere, the app can detect if a person has been running, or headphones have been removed from the audio jack suggesting the phone has been dropped, for example.?If this happens, the ‘Are you OK?’ button appears and the 15-second countdown starts automatically.

Companion is free for iOS and Android devices and users need to enter their mobile number to sign up to the service.

Sources: WTSP, UK Business Insider, Daily Mail

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