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Kitestring: Because Everyone Needs a Little Peace of Mind

You’re out somewhere, having a good time, and when you’re done you realize you’re not necessarily in a part of town you would have voluntarily entered had you been paying attention. The trouble is, you’re by yourself, and your car is a bit of a hike away. Or, like me, you have to wait for a taxi, and that can take a very long time… especially if you’re nervous. I’ve actually sent text messages to friends before telling them where I am and what I’m doing because I’m nervous. Nothing has ever happened (yet), but you never know.

Kitestring understands that, and they’ve created a wonderful little system whereby you can feel as safe as possible. It won’t prevent something from happening, but it will make sure if something does happen someone knows about it in relatively short order. It’s an SMS-based safecall service that doesn’t require an app download (which makes it usable on all platforms). When you’re heading out somewhere, or just find yourself in an unsavory part of town, you send a text to the service explaining where you are and about how long it should be before you’re somewhere safe again. When that time elapses, Kitestring sends you a check-in text message. If you fail to respond, or respond incorrectly, it then notifies whatever emergency contacts you’ve set that there is a problem so something can be done to help you.

Kitestring is flexible too, so no worries you’re locked into your trip time. If you get home early, feel free to check in. If you’re running late, just send a text with how much longer you’ll be to extend the time before your check-in text is sent. You can set a secret check-in word (they recommend changing it for each trip so it doesn’t stay in your history) to prevent someone checking in on your behalf, and you can set a duress code which you can enter in case you’re being forced to claim you’re fine. In the latter case, Kitestring will act as if you simply checked in, and then notify your contacts immediately.

You should be aware that if for some reason your phone is not available to receive the check-in text (dead battery, lost, stolen, etc.) or if you don’t notice it, then notifications will go out. A false positive or two might not be so bad, but you certainly don’t want to make a habit of them or you’ll become the boy who cried wolf.

Here’s the best part: Kitestring is free. Yup, free. And available in over 200 countries, although it only comes in English (for now). It is important to note that standard SMS rates apply within the US, and international SMS rates will apply outside the US. But the service itself is free.


Source: TechCrunch

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