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Ohio college students create safety app

With one download, never walk alone

CLEVELAND — An assault at a grocery store led a college student to co-create an app so no one has to walk alone.

“ I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings and I realized that after three aisles, a man was following me,” explains Ohio State University Senior and Youngstown Native, Angela Rucci.

“He grabbed me and starts thrusting himself on me and I was super scared.”

She and her classmate, Rocky River Native Mark Thorn, coded Tego, a safety app that protects people while walking alone.

“You can use it as a meet up app, so there’s an actual use case outside of feeling unsafe,” explains Thorn. 

“But then Tego will be there in case you do feel unsafe, a situation does occur.  It’ll be right there when you need it instead of you having to think back and recollect, oh, I feel unsafe and I have to do something about.”

Rucci says there are some unique aspects of this app compared to similar software. 

“If you’re taking longer than expected to be home, your protector is notified.  They can see in the app, it’ll turn red for estimated arrival time,” she says.

“But we know some people may have disabilities or may walk at slower paces so we still will never end your trip for you until you make it home”

There are other built in safety measures as well.  With a swipe you can dial 911 or let your protector know you feel unsafe.

“It has this great video and audio feature, so if I feel unsafe on my trip, my protector can pretty much virtually join in on my trip, see my surroundings, see what’s going on and make sure if I’m okay,” explains Rucci.

Tego is free in the iOS App store and will be available on Android devices August 2019.