Noonlight, which until recently went by the name SafeTrek, launched five years ago with a smartphone app that lets you summon help without saying a word. Crossing a darkened parking lot in the early hours? Just press and hold the button on the screen. Release it, and the app calls 911 unless you enter a PIN. The service costs $3 a month.
Now the company wants to expand the platform and bring in a new era of personal safety. It has partnerships to put its tech in the Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart speakers, Apple Health app, Nest Protect smoke detector, Canary security camera, and Biostrap health wearable.
Think of Noonlight as the OnStar for your home. OnStar which launched more than 10 years ago can summon help when you’ve run off the road. But so far no other company has brought a similar technology into the home. Even Alexa doesn’t support calls to 911.ration went live recently with Canary. If it notices something amiss — say, you’ve fallen and can’t get up — the camera sends you a push notification. If you don’t reply within a set amount of time, it alerts their call center.
Looking into the future, Noonlight sees a day when all devices work together to better detect issues in the home. For example, a Nest cam might see you grabbing your chest as your Apple Watch detects an erratic heartbeat. Google Home hears you gasping for breath and summon help.
Noonlight argues that the call center approach is better than calling 911 directly because the center can keep detailed information about your location and medical history. Summon help from Noonlight and the call center creates a webpage with a unique case number and all of the relevant info and gives the URL to a 911 dispatcher.
All of this raises some serious privacy questions. Data that goes into 911 systems is pretty heavily protected. There’s no guarantee any of the devices that incorporate Noonlight will offer similar protection.
Noonlight believes smart devices can, and will, save lives.
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