Category Archives: Success Stories

Help make it happen for BlissEscape!

In researching our culture’s relationship with stress, Jijesh Devan and Colleen Madden discovered that it’s only getting to be more and more of a problem. As a solution to this growing concern, the pair developed BlissEscape, an app that helps control stress levels and aids in relaxation.

BlissEscapes are the world’s first Relaxation Travelogues! Guided relaxation audio files, via the app and MP3s, take you to gorgeous destinations all around the world, such as the Mediterranean Beach, a Tuscan Villa or a Caribbean Beach at Sunset. The idea for BlissEscape emerged out of the workshops, guidance and support provided by MEIC’s Mobile Accelerator Program (MAP) 2012.

Currently crowdfunding the project on Indiegogo, BlissEscape is at a very exciting stage. They are very close to their $2,600 goal. The primary reason behind the crowdfunding initiative is to establish a core group of early users and assess the demand. They hope to be in the market by January 2013.

Visit their website to learn more about this exciting project and help spread the word! Do you have any feedback for BlissEscape? Send your comments to colleen@blissscape.com.

MAP 2013 begins this January. For more information on the program, please visit www.meic.ca. Registration details coming soon!

OCAD Campus Security Launches NEW Guardly Safety App

MEIC is excited to announce that OCAD University is rolling out a NEW Guardly campus safety app as the new school term begins! This new app will allow for more accessibility to the Campus Security team to the entire university community in a time of need. Students, faculty and staff at OCAD University have an innovative new personal safety tool available to them for free this fall: the Guardly Safe Campus™ mobile application for smartphones.

The company is a graduate of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre incubator program, where a six-month residency led to the development of the technology’s core infrastructure and Guardly’s first iPhone app. The software was rigorously tested in a pilot program across campus by student and staff volunteers over the past six months.

The app works with Guardly Command™, a web-based incident management system that helps dispatch personnel to monitor, manage and respond to emergencies within campus boundaries, defined by a geofence. The system provides real-time caller location, identification and profile information, such as allergies, medical conditions, medications and other information specified by a caller in their profile. During an incident, dispatchers can speak with a caller by phone or engage in a conversation by secure instant messaging. For privacy purposes, location tracking is only enabled once a caller triggers an alert.

What’s more is that the app isn’t limited to use on campus. Outside the OCAD U geofence, the application can be used to notify 9-1-1 services and a caller’s personal security network, further extending the value of the service to OCAD U community members. The app also makes it easier for anyone with physical disabilities or sensory impairments to reach help.

Students and employees can register and download Guardly Safe Campus™ for free through the OCAD U website.

Guardly Safety App Now Available for BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7

TORONTO – August 24, 2011 –Guardly is now available for download from BlackBerry App World and from the Windows Phone Marketplace in the United States and Canada.Today,Guardly becomes the first mobile personal safety service in North America to offer cross-platform support and availability on Apple iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 devices. Guardly enables smartphones users in an emergency to instantly alert, connect and collaborate with their trusted personal safety network and authorities with only a single tap on their device.

Available for iPhone since April 2011, Guardly has been widely adopted by students, real estate agents, social workers, travelers, those afraid to walk alone at night or concerned about dating or domestic violence. “Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, background, or socioeconomic status,” said Becky Lee the Founder of Washington D.C.-based Becky’s Fund. “We’re excited to work with Guardly to positively impact and prevent domestic violence in our communities and college campuses through the power of technology.”

“Not every emergency or situation requires 9-1-1 and sometimes friends, family members or neighbors who are nearby can respond to a call for assistance even faster,” says Josh Sookman, Guardly Founder and CEO. “We’ve created a mobile alarm and monitoring service that accompanies you at home or on-the-go and that’s designed to be quickly accessible in an emergency, when seconds really matter.”

Price Reduction for Guardly Connect Subscriptions
Guardly has worked closely with its partners to reduce the costs of delivering its subscription service. We’re proud to announce that we are transferring those savings to our subscribers. Guardly Connect is now available for $1.99/month or $19.99/year, reduced from $9.99/month or $99.99/year.

Guardly is a free download and includes Guardly Alerts – a free service – that provides the ability to send location-based emergency alerts to up to 15 emergency contacts by voice call, SMS and email. Guardly Connect is an upgrade that delivers a stronger sense of security by connecting you to these same people through voice conference, instant messaging and real-time location data with a single tap on your BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 or iOS device.

Guardly is highly configurable and makes it easy to create groups of contacts that will receive emergency alerts or participate in real-time emergency response efforts. Guardly also provides a simple way to run simulations of the system, so that users and their safety networks can get acquainted with how Guardly works during an emergency incident.

Who’s using Guardly?

·       Megan is a student at St. Philip’s College where she’s training to be an ultrasound technician. She gets nervous walking home late at night, and never takes classes that end after sunset. Megan loves that Guardly on her smartphone is like having the campus blue light security system in her back pocket.

·       Jennifer is a twenty-something PR professional in Vancouver who likes to hike and jog the trails near Whistler, B.C. Often alone, she wants to be protected in case she runs into danger in a remote area. Guardly gives Jennifer peace of mind and has become her trusted safety companion.

·       Michael is a 59 year-old BlackBerry-toting sales executive from San Francisco with chronic heart disease. He lives each day knowing that, at any moment, he may need immediate medical attention. Mike lives alone, but has confidence that Guardly can instantly call the authorities as well as neighbors who can often arrive before paramedics to provide life-saving assistance.

Availability on other Smartphone Platforms
Guardly for iPhone and iPod Touch was released in April 2011 and can be downloaded from theApple App Store. Guardly for Android is in development and will be announced shortly.

About Guardly
Guardly is a venture-backed company based in Toronto, Canada. Guardly’s platform for emergency communication facilitates rapid social, mobile and location-aware responses to calls for assistance. Smartphone users that find themselves in an emergency situation can alert, connect and collaborate with local authorities as well as their own personal safety networks in a single tap. Guardly is committed to dramatically decreasing the amount of time it takes responders to arrive at an emergency. The company is a member of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and is based in Toronto, Canada.

For more information visit: http://guardly.com.
Media Contact
Robert Lendvai, Guardly Corp.
robert@guardly.com
Mobile: 416.670.7851

Congratulations to Polar Mobile!

Kunal Gupta, CEO, Polar Mobile

Original article by , published in the Financial Post, July 19, 2011

Fans of local news in more than 100 communities across Canada will soon be able to access news stories about their community from their mobile devices, thanks to a new deal between Torstar Corp.’s Metroland Media Group Ltd. and Toronto’s Polar Mobile.

Under the terms of the deal between the two companies, Polar will create a series of smartphone and tablet applications for Metroland’s 104 local community newspapers located throughout Canada.

“We are truly excited to take our leading community brands into the mobile application space with this unique and comprehensive solution, giving our readers and customers new ways to interact with our award-winning local content,” Ian Oliver, president of Metroland Media Group, said in a statement.

In total, Polar will create more than 500 applications for Metroland that will run across a range of platforms, including Apple Inc.’s iPad and iPhone, Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerrys and PlayBooks as well as devices running Google Inc.’s Android and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 7 software.

While most major newspapers have created their own smartphone and tablet applications, many smaller newspapers have lacked the resources to create stand alone mobile apps.

Although many readers in small communities still get their national and international news from major media outlets, about 74% of Canadian adults still read their local newspaper, according to data from the Canadian Community Newspaper Database.

“The local newspaper space is an untapped opportunity in mobile, as the content is exclusive and the advertisers needs are unique,” Kunal Gupta, chief executive of Polar Mobile, said in a statement.

“We are proud that Metroland selected Polar Mobile to partner with to launch over 500 mobile apps and plan to grow our presence in the local newspaper market globally.”

Mr. Gupta said he believes the new mobile applications will open fresh advertising opportunities for local newspapers and that the apps will likely evolve over time to include additional mobile-first content, especially for weekly publications.

Metroland will take advantage of the same Polar technology that is used by publications like Sports IllustratedVogue and MacLean’s.

Polar Mobile has also recently signed a series of deals with the unions of professional sports leagues, including NFL Players Inc., the Major League Baseball Players Association and the National Hockey League Players Association.

Guardly Mobile Personal Safety App Now Available for the iPhone

TORONTO – April 7, 2011 – Guardly, a new mobile personal safety application and service, is now available for download from the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch users in the United States and Canada. Guardly enables smartphone users in distress to alert, connect, and collaborate with their personal safety network and authorities with only a single tap on their device.

Recognizing that proactive actions taken during the first moments of an emergency can often help reduce potentially negative outcomes to an incident, OCAD University has partnered with Guardly to provide local response by campus security for OCAD U students using the Guardly service to broadcast emergencies arising on campus. “Our partnership with Guardly enables the University to extend the reach of its emergency phones on campus by putting a virtual emergency phone onto smartphones carried by students,” said Vicki Brown, Director, Campus Services & Security at OCAD University. “It also enables us to track changes to the location of an emergency in real-time and communicate with the victim and his/her responding safety network throughout the incident until resolved.”

Guardly was created to dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes for help to arrive at an emergency. The app, which was announced and previewed at the DEMO conference in February, is a prime example of how technology can be used to help save lives.

Guardly differs from other personal safety apps on the market in that it enablesa user’s personal safety network to collaborate with them and amongst each other through mobile web and web incident pages, SMS and voice conferencing for the duration of the emergency event. “Not every incident or situation requires 9-1-1 escalation and sometimes friends, family members or neighbours who are nearby can respond to a call for assistance even faster,” said Josh Sookman, Guardly Founder and CEO. “We’ve created a mobile app that provides a simple way to bring your personal safety network together instantly, and escalate an emergency to 9-1-1 at any point during an incident.”

Guardly is ideal for students, young professionals, travelers, sports enthusiasts, or anyone who frequently walks alone at night, is concerned about dating safety, is responsible for children, may find themselves in abusive relationships or is faced with medical conditions. Guardly is also ideal for families and friends who agree to look out for one another in the event of disasters such as earthquakes, fires and floods.

Guardly Premium and Guardly Alerts

Guardly Premium (priced at $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year) is a subscription service that includes the following key features and services:

  • One-tap activation:Guardly alerts two safety networks simultaneously: (1) a user’s personal safety network by voice, SMS and email, and (2) 9-1-1 or any other emergency phone number;
  • Contact collaboration:Users can collaborate with emergency contacts in real-time by conference call, instant messaging and map-view showing nearby locations of responders;
  • LocationAssure™:Guardly uses GPS, cell-tower triangulation and WiFi hotspots to find a user’s real-time location for the entire duration of an emergency incident, even if the user is on the phone with 9-1-1. By combining this data with places frequented by a user, Guardly helps ensure a user is easy to find by responders in case of emergency;
  • NetworkAssure™:Built-in intelligence to detect network failures and wait until a signal is present to transmit data and make calls to 9-1-1 to ensure users are connected to their safety network;
  • Auto-dial emergency services including 9-1-1:It takes at least 8 taps to dial 9-1-1 on an iPhone (Home, Swipe, Phone, Keypad, 9, 1, 1, Send). It only takes 3 taps to launch Guardly (Home, Swipe, Guardly);
  • Photo sharing:Users can share photos with their personal safety network instantly and securely.

Guardly Alerts is a free service that includes the following features:

  • Emergency alerts:Send location-based emergency alerts via voice call, SMS and email to pre-configured safety groups;
  • Contact groups:Add up to 15 contacts per emergency group (unlimited groups).

Users can also run emergency simulations of Guardly Premium to learn the benefits of upgrading to the premium version.

Seed Funding

In conjunction with the launch announcement, Guardly has also closed a seed round of financing that includes investments from Extreme Venture Partners, Bryker Capital and several angel investors. The company will be using the funding to add to its technology development and business development teams to build out its partner ecosystem.

Availability on other Smartphone Platforms

Guardly’s mobile application for iPhone is available immediately from the Apple App Store athttp://itunes.com/apps/guardly. BlackBerry and Android versions are in development and will be announced shortly.

About Guardly

Guardly is a platform for emergency communication that changes the way mobile personal safety is delivered. Smartphone users that find themselves in an emergency situation can alert, connect and collaborate with local authorities as well as their own personal safety networks in a single tap. Guardly is committed to dramatically decreasing the amount of time it takes responders to arrive at an emergency. The company is a member of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and is based in Toronto, Canada. For more information visit: http://guardly.com.

Media Contact:

Jodi Echakowitz

Echo Communications
jodi@echocommunications.com
905-709-9600

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