“All the security officers are equipped with our app,” said SayVU founder and CEO, Amotz Koskas. “It is connected to our hotline, which will be used if the need arises.”
SayVU is programmed to send automatic messages to the police when the user is in distress. The app can be triggered even when the phone is locked by either shaking one’s cell phone, saying “Call SayVU,” or pressing the selfie button. It also automatically activates the phone’s GPS and microphone, sending all relevant information to the police.
Koskas stressed that SayVU is being used only by security forces, but is not yet ready for use by the common citizen.
Koskas decided to develop the app after the kidnapping of Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach in 2014. Shaer managed to call the Israel Police emergency line, but his cries for help were dismissed by police dispatchers who had assumed the call was a prank.
SayVU was developed in an effort to prevent such occurrences from happening in the future, as police would have been automatically sent to the scene had they used the app.
“When Gilad Shaer told the police, ‘they kidnapped me,’ the speech-to-text feature would have been automatically activated and have been instantly sent to our hotline, where we could figure out the context in which the statement was said and the proper response,” contended Koskas.
The city of Ofakim recently implemented the SayVU app citywide after a pedophile was apprehended when a teacher used it to alert the police in real time. The cities of Ashdod and Herzliya have also expressed interest in the app.
Koskas maintains that his app is purely for altruistic purposes and does not intend to place it on the retail market. “My interest is for everyone to have this app and to save lives."
SayVU is projected to be available to the public by the end of 2016.