‘Guardian’ can be used to alert friends and family during an emergency

Tech major Microsoft on Thursday launched ‘Guardian,’ a new safety application (app), that enables friends and family of Windows Phone users to track them in real time.

Available exclusively for Windows Phone users, Guardian’s ‘track me’ feature allows friends and family to track them using Microsoft Windows Azure cloud services and Bing Map APIs, a statement issued by Microsoft here said.

“Guardian users can call for help through an ‘SOS’ alert button and also connect to security agencies, police and hospitals easily via this app in times of distress,” the statement said.

Guardian was developed over six months by a group of enthusiastic Microsoft employees in India, within the Microsoft Garage, a global employee innovation initiative that gives the employees an outlet to explore ideas. “Our employees wanted to do something to enable people to feel safer in our cities. So they used their spare time to develop Guardian,” Managing Director of Microsoft IT India Raj Biyani said in a statement. Guardian is a robust personal security app with more safety features and capabilities than any other comparable app available to Indian smartphone users today, he claimed.

To use Guardian effectively, users need to add the names of friends, family members and security groups to the settings. In an emergency situation, the app can be used to alert them, via the SOS button. All the user has to do is tap the SOS button. The phone then sends a distress SMS to all buddy mobiles, notifying them of the emergency along with location details, Microsoft said. “At the same time, the SOS button also sends emails to buddy email IDs and posts to private Facebook groups, if registered.”

Pointing out that Guardian uses Microsoft Windows Azure cloud services and Bing Map APIs extensively and can help the authorities and medical teams track the user, the statement said the phone can be traced even if it is broken. The application is capable of one touch video recording that can be used as evidence.