Panic button useless without helpline, strong backup team

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | KOUSTAV DAS
Published May 26, 2016, 4:15 pm IST
Updated May 26, 2016, 5:26 pm IST
The panic button will become more effective as more people become aware about the feature, said senior Counterpoint analyst Tarun Pathak.
OTR will be resposible for panic button integrations, as per DOT's initiative to integrate enhanced safety features on mobile devices. (Representational image)
 OTR will be resposible for panic button integrations, as per DOT's initiative to integrate enhanced safety features on mobile devices. (Representational image)

Mumbai: In a recent statement, One Touch Response founder Arvind Khanna explained that it is necessary to have an emergency helpline and a fast on-ground response team for the success of Panic button implementation on mobile devices.

According to several media reports, Khanna said that the combination of the aforementioned facets can revolutionise the safety mindset of all, especially women in the country.

 

The panic button implementation on all mobile phones is a part of a government’s initiative to assist individuals in trouble, and in need of immediate help in emergency situations.

Last month, the DOT had issued a circular to mobile manufacturers to install a mandatory panic button and GPS in all devices, including feature phones by January 2017.

Laying out the rules of panic button implementation, Dot said all feature phones should have the provision of panic button configured to 5 or 9 on the keypad. In case of smartphones, quickly pressing the on-off button should trigger the panic message.

Commenting on the issue, senior analyst at Counterpoint research Tarun Pathak told Deccan Chronicle that it is not feasible for global brands to implement physical panic buttons, as they sell them in various countries but it can be done easily by making changes to the existing software.

Regarding feature phones, he said that a physical button can be implemented into the units as ‘the main cost is for hardware and software spends are minimal or none’.

On being asked if foreign brands like Apple will comply to the Dot’s order, Pathak said, “Apple and other smartphone brands will comply with DoT’s order as the country has huge potential in terms of smartphone sales and making small software changes is a small price to pay for it.”

“India being the fastest growing (23 per cent) smartphone market in a quarter that saw global slow down and smartphone penetration still below 50, poses huge opportunity for smartphone OEMs to drive their growth,” he added.

He also highlighted the fact that the panic button will become more effective as more people become aware about the feature. “The more important point is the awareness of having a panic button in phones among the masses”

“Along with a GPS system and a quick response team linked to the panic button a lot of situations can be handled in much better way than it would have been without this information,” he said.

Easy implementation

Khanna also said it is due to Dot’s circular that allowed them to patch up with mobile phone companies by integrating their services and technologies toward addressing this urgent need.

OTR explained that its open API interface will help mobile manufacturers seamlessly integrate the service directly on the phones.

The company further indicated that not only smartphones have the option to integrate the OTR app but feature phones can also utilise the company’s solution by integrating its SOS service via SMS.

Users who are not familiar with OTR, the company provides immediate assistance and real-time response services to its users whenever they are in trouble and in need of quick assistance.

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