Most startup founders have an interesting story to tell about how they came up with the idea for their business, but Shannon Cloy’s is perhaps more interesting than most.
The idea for his personal safety app Mi Vista came from a traumatic experience he went through almost ten years ago. Cloy was stabbed outside a hotel, but his attacker was never caught because CCTV cameras both inside the venue and out didn’t manage to capture any footage of the incident.
Cloy said that, with a lot of time on his hands during his recovery, he began thinking of how people could boost their personal safety, wanting to stop others going through the same experience he had.
“It became a bit of an obsession before I came up with the idea of a personal safety app,” Cloy said.
The Mi Vista app allows users to create a list of contacts that can be notified of their whereabouts at any time through photographs and GPS tracking. There is a Social Mode which allows the users to update their contacts socially, letting them easily take and send a photo and enable location tracking if they wish.
If things should take a turn for the worse, with the app open the user can shake their phone or slide their finger across the screen to the right to switch MiVista into Emergency Mode. From here they can take a photo which is immediately sent to pre-selected emergency contacts along with the user’s location. The user can also indicate that the emergency was of a medical nature, through which pre-entered medical information will also be sent. The emergency contact will in turn be able to view the image, the user’s location, and medical information if it was sent.
If a user manages to get out of the unsafe situation or sent a false alert they can enter a 4 digit code to update their status to ‘safe’. If they’re under duress to enter the code they can enter the wrong one, which will result in a critical alert being sent to their emergency contacts while the app will appear to operate as if the correct code was entered.
The tracking feature has two modes: the first allows users to send their specific location at one point in time either in a message or along with a photo, while the second, Vista-Trax shows the contacts where the user is currently located as well as recording the path they’ve taken, helping authorities retrace their steps and refine their search area in the event that something serious occurs.
Mi Vista now has users on board from around the world, with Cloy saying it was a key goal of his to make sure that the app was aimed at a broad audience rather than just women and children, which are – understandably – the traditional market for these kinds of products. He said his own experience 10 years ago made it clear that men also need to be conscious of their safety.
Cloy self funded the development of the app, which was built by Melbourne company Appster. He said the process has been so much bigger and complex than he could have ever imagined, but if it helps even one person, it will be worth it.
Featured Image: Mi Vista founder Shannon Cloy. | Source: Provided.