7 December, 2023 - A new study by the ONS shows the majority of us feel unsafe walking alone. A pioneering new app by safety experts Callie and ADT wants to help us feel safer when we’re out and about.
Empowerment, quality, trust
“Empowerment, quality, trust” –that’s the ethos of the exciting new personal safety solution, Callie, which has already racked up millions of views on social media and thousands of downloads across iOS and Android.
Conceived as a way to help people feel more connected and confident when they’re alone, Callie consists of a completely free app and a premium safety monitoring service that’s powered by security experts, ADT.
Whether it’s exploring a new country, going for an evening jog or just walking to the shops; Callie wants people to feel safer, more connected and more empowered when they’re alone. But, with up to 80% of women and 40% of men feeling unsafe when walking alone, how can an app help?
How Callie Works
With the free Callie app, users create temporary ‘sessions’ that are shared with those they trust –usually friends, parents or partners. A typical session may look like “First date with John - 2 hours” or “Cycling to the gym - 20 minutes”
While a session is live, the user’s trusted ‘guardians’ can see where the user is, what the session is for, and how long it's expected to take. They can even see the user’s battery and signal strength.
If the user fails to check in as safe before the session ends, an alert will be automatically sent to the user’s chosen guardians. The user can also manually trigger an alert at any time by pressing a button on the app.
Right now, thousands of people across the UK and further afield use Callie on dates, commutes and nights out. Callie is used on bikes, on foot, on public transport and in taxis. And best of all? – All these features are completely free.
Partnered with ADT for 24/7 Protection
As well as its “free forever” offering, Callie offers a premium safety monitoring service that’s powered by security giants, ADT.
“For 150 years, ADT has protected people, their businesses and their homes” explained Callie’s spokesperson. “With Callie, we wanted to expand that trusted protection to wherever people are, whatever they’re doing.”
A Callie user may trigger an alarm because they’ve been knocked off their bike, because they’re being followed, or because they’re being harassed on a night out.
Whatever the situation, ADT’s agents are trained to provide support, help the person find a safe route out of the situation and, if necessary, escalate the situation to the emergency services.
Beyond the expertise, one of the key benefits of CalliePlus is having someone available day or night to check in on the user should an alarm go off. This is particularly helpful for people who are working or socialising late into the night and don’t want to disturb those waiting at home.
Privacy and security
A comprehensive study by BMC Public Health has revealed that users of safety apps appreciate the peace of mind they can bring but they are concerned about reliability, price, and privacy.
As part of Callie’s focus on “trust”, they wanted to provide a solution that respected privacy at every level. For Callie, that meant no round-the-clock tracking, no ads, no creepy data mining and no back-door snooping. Whether you use Callie’s free plan or ADT-backed premium plan, your sessions and data will always be private.
A spokesperson for the brand said, “Callie is for those moments when you want someone watching over you –but it’s not a traditional tracking app. When your session is done; it’s done. No one can watch you without your consent, and that’s really important to us”.
Where “peace of mind” meets privacy
In the UK, over 40% of parents use some sort of location tracking on a daily basis. These apps can make parents feel more comfortable but they can be a cause of friction –particularly as kids grow up and want more freedom.
Callie users report finding this compromise more attractive to both parents and kids. With Callie, kids can create a session when they’re walking to school or when they’re cycling to a friend's house, but then check in as safe and leave it off.
For Gen-Z and younger Millenials, who have grown up with smartphones and tracking apps, Callie can provide a sense of security and a sense of freedom. For those going to university or moving out for the first time, Callie provides a perfect compromise.
Some of the most vocal support for the Callie app has come from students. At a recent freshers fair, where Callie had set up shop, students turned up in their hundreds to praise what the team were doing. In particular, the freshers liked that they could get benefit from the safety features they’d grown up with, but without feeling like they were being tracked by their parents.
Similarly, many modern couples may appreciate their partner watching over them when they’re walking home from a night out, or when they’re on a long drive, but won’t want to be tracked all day, every day. Callie fills this niche nicely.
Built by experts, backed by experts
As well as being backed by one of the oldest and most recognised security brands in the world, Callie was also built from the ground up by safety experts, Safepoint. This is where the “quality” of Callie’s three-part ethos comes in.
Safepoint protects thousands of workers for household brands such as the NHS, Brewdog, Michelin and Aldi through their dedicated apps and wearables. With Callie, they’ve brought all that experience and made it available to a much wider audience.
An app worth talking about
Despite only launching a few months ago, Callie has proved incredibly popular on social media –with millions of views and interactions across all its channels.
A lot of this success comes from Callie’s community-first ethos. Most of their audience is made up of Gen-Z and Millennials who appreciate Callie’s down-to-earth videos on personal safety.
By talking about the issues and worries that young people (particularly women, girls and members of the LGBTQ+ community) face, Callie have built an incredibly engaged conversation with their audience. These conversations help the Callie team develop the app and provide features their audience genuinely appreciates.
One community-inspired addition is Callie’s “Fake Call” feature, where users can trigger a realistic-sounding, pre-recorded phone call on a timer. If Callie users are feeling uncomfortable, they can simply trigger the Fake Call, wait for their phone to start buzzing and politely make their excuses.
What the future holds
2024 is set to be a big year for Callie. Not only do the team expect to bring on thousands of new users across their free and premium plans, and to reach millions of new viewers across social media, but they will also launch their much-anticipated safety bracelet.
The Callie safety bracelet is a clever –yet easy-to-use– panic alarm that looks and feels like a premium piece of jewellery. With just a tap of this unique wearable device, users can surreptitiously trigger a ‘smart alarm’ and let their loved ones know that they’re in trouble.
Commenting on the big year ahead of them, Callie’s spokesperson had this to say, “Our goal is to empower people. Whatever your goals are in 2024: taking up a new hobby, getting fit, going on that dream trip, or just wanting to meet new people… We hope that Callie can help you get there.”
Try Callie for free
Those interested in the Callie app can download it for free on iOS or Android.
Callie is a UK-based personal safety brand focused on the Callie app, the CalliePlus monitoring service (powered by ADT), and the upcoming Callie Safety Bracelet.
Callie was created by lone worker safety brand, Safepoint, and was also supported by the Growth Through Innovation Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.