by Marc Basiliere
November 1, 2013
Well thought-out safety layer. And it’s free!
As easy as it can be to pooh-pooh the idea of ‘safety apps,’ when Road ID’s founders described theirs at Interbike this fall it sounded well considered and hard to fault. Not intended to replace smart planning, proper identification, or anything else that mountain bikers should be already doing, the Road ID App should add a layer to one’s safety net without adding much fuss.
In essence, the App is a motion sensor GPS-enabled notifications. If planning, say, a two-hour ride, that time would be entered into the program. For the next two hours, if something goes wrong and the user is unable to respond, those contacts are sent coordinate-linked notifications and can notify the authorities as appropriate. That stationary alert will be triggered if the user hasn’t moved in five minutes and is unable to respond to the phone- a very good thing for anyone who has conked their head or spent time lying in a ditch on top of a broken arm.
In addition, the switchable eCrumb feature allows those included to follow the user’s progress online. As one iTunes reviewer noted, the App “worked great for runner tracking during a recent half marathon, spectators didn’t have to gauge my pace to pick spots – they knew where I was!” Along those lines, it could also come in handy timing 24-hour race transitions.
A Lock Screen Creator function provides first responders with important medical information and up to three In Case of Emergency (ICE) contacts from the phone’s lock screen. This feature is also intended to supplement RoadID’s identification bands, which are fare likelier to survive a bad crash and less likely to have their batteries die. Still, it’s a painless addition.
Unfortunately for those of us who prefer robots to fruit, there is no estimated timeline for an Android version. At Interbike, Road ID were having trouble caused by the latest iOS release, but those have been solved save for occasional Lock Screen Creator issues for iPhone 4/4s users running iOS 7. They are working on these, but everyone else should be A-OK. The Road ID App is free (hooray!) from Apple’s iTunes Store. More at roadid.com/eCrumbs.