CriticalArc SafeZone set to revolutionise campus safety

Media Release

July 31, 2012

Wollongong, NSW. CriticalArc Pty Ltd (www.criticalarc.com) and The University of Wollongong (UOW) announced today the launch of a full-scale pilot of CriticalArc’s SafeZone campus safety and security solution. Maintaining a safe and secure environment, 24-hours per day, on large open campuses with small security teams is a challenge for all Australian universities. UOW hopes that SafeZone will enable faster and more effective incident response by its security team, and a greater sense of wellbeing for all students and staff while on campus.

The UOW pilot offers a free Smartphone App to all of the university’s students and staff and will run until the end of December 2012. SafeZone App users will be able to send a location-based alert directly to all UOW security team members when they need general assistance, First Aid or when under duress. Within seconds, the UOW security team – also using a CriticalArc App on Smartphones – will receive each alert. With a clear map view of the situation, including locations of other team members – the team will be able to coordinate a quick and effective response to any user’s request.

David Anderson, UOW’s Manager Security and his team are very excited about piloting SafeZone.  “With the SafeZone App on their Smartphone, students and staff effectively have a Help Point in their pocket – we’re keen to get everyone to download the App, sign up and use it when they need assistance. This is a completely new approach to campus safety and security. Our security team, also using Smartphones, will have unprecedented situational awareness – enabling us to respond more efficiently and give our campus community more peace-of-mind. ” he said.

CriticalArc has been supported by UOW, Wollongong City Council and NSW Trade & Investment as a member of the UOW StartPad ideas incubator – part of the UOW iAccelerate program. Innovation and Commercial Research Director at UOW, Elizabeth Eastland said “This is a real life example of how UOW and local businesses can engage with technology start-ups to make a significant difference to their success and speed to market.”

“Responding to the needs of campus community members in stressful and sometimes extremely urgent situations requires a combination of readiness, skill, care, situational awareness, communication and organisational effectiveness,” said CEO Glenn Farrant.

“There’s only so much territory a university can cover with fixed infrastructure such as Help Points and CCTV. Security team members can only be in one place at a time. New students in unfamiliar environs, sometimes with the added challenge of English as a second language may find it difficult to describe their current situation and location.  With the SafeZone App, help is at their fingertips and the whole security team will know exactly where help is needed. Where necessary, users will also be able to report incidents without becoming directly involved,” he said.

“SafeZone offers the opportunity to optimize organisational response in any situation, is designed to support existing security and risk-management protocols and to complement the use of existing fixed security infrastructure. As well as handling user requests for help, the system also enables fast push messaging from the security team to all users where there may be a situation that requires urgent, orderly action such as an evacuation. This avoids the problems of cell network congestion often found with SMS-broadcast systems,” Mr Farrant added.

The App is available to all UOW students and staff and will be promoted through a range of activities on campus.

The SafeZone App is available via: http://www.safezoneapp.com

More UOW SafeZone information is available at:  http://www.uow.edu.au/about/security/index.html

 

Contact:     Glenn Farrant, CEO, CriticalArc Pty Ltd

m:   +61-466-629-072

e:        glenn.farrant@criticalarc.com

 

About SafeZone and CriticalArc
CriticalArc Pty Ltd (www.criticalarc.com) is a privately held Australian company, founded in 2011 by two security and surveillance systems experts, based in Wollongong NSW. Rapid penetration of Smartphones amongst student populations (expected to rise over 80% in 2012), together with advances in mobile communications and sensor technology provide the opportunity for CriticalArc’s approach, enabling long-standing issues in managing campus safety to be resolved.

CriticalArc’s flagship product, SafeZone takes a revolutionary approach not yet seen in the campus security industry. CriticalArc has run technical and operational trials across multiple campuses at a number of universities. The end-user App is available free of charge, CriticalArc provides the accompanying security team solution (via a cloud service) to universities under a commercial licensing arrangement.

UOW Pilot

SafeZone Pilot will be available to UOW staff and students from July 30-December 31.

The free SafeZone App is available for iOS (iPhone) and Android.

Visit safezoneapp.com for links to app stores and more information.

Users can provide feedback through UOW Staff and Student feedback channels, Facebook at facebook.com/safezoneapp and at safezoneapp.com .

For the Pilot, UOW users will need to register after downloading. The Pilot will run initially only in and around the UOW main campus as shown on the UOW SafeZone map on the UOW Security website.