Cal Poly graduates Maxwell Fong and Elan Timmon officially launched Ulzi on Feb. 7, hoping to prevent sexual assaults with their new app that crowdsources safety.
The free Ulzi app allows users to track and be tracked by loved ones, share their location with local emergency services and assist nearby users who are in dangerous situations, according to Ulzi. Triggering a yellow alert lets the user customize who responds in an uncomfortable or escalating situation. Users can activate a red alert when they want law enforcement and emergency contacts to know they need help.
If someone is in trouble nearby, for example, users in the vicinity can receive notifications. Then they are guided to the location to help and can record video to assist law enforcement.
Users can also use the app’s route-planning feature to plan their path to a location beforehand, which friends and community members can then view and use to survey their progress to make sure they get home safely.
Ulzi went viral after starting a platform where women could share their stories of sexual assault. They have since been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post and Buzzfeed. After reading the stories and understanding the challenges the women who shared their stories faced, the Fong and Timmon said they were ready to implement a real solution.
By launching an app emphasizing strong values like community and safety, the company hopes to ensure that people do not have to worry about their loved ones walking home late at night.