SmartZone App Deemed A Success


One year on since it’s introduction to the University Of Wollongong, the SafeZone smart phone application has been deemed a success. Manager of Security at the University David Anderson says the app has 2,040 registrations and has been well received by students and staff.

“We’re quite comfortable with that number but if we look at it from the perspective that in peak periods there are 11,000 people on campus at one time it’s only representative of about a fifth of the population. We’re still quite surprised that we’ve able to get to 2,040 registrations.”

The application, developed by CriticalArc, has even played a key role in preventing students from harm on two separate occasions.

“One of the incidents involved a student who felt harassed and felt that he was a victim of road rage” said Mr Anderson. “He was in his car at about 9.30 at night on campus and there was a car containing 3 or 4 other male persons who were following and harassing him so he raised a duress alarm. When the alert came into the security offices they were able to track his movements. By the time security staff had arrived the car had left the scene.

In another separate incident there was a young lady riding her bike through the botanic garden and she fell and hurt herself and she raised the first aid alert. The security team arrived pretty quickly to help her out.”

Mr Anderson said that “most of the technical issues were dealt with back in the development stage, but CriticalArc have been doing more work on the product as it goes along… the front line features of the product are pretty stock standard and they work quite well.”

Mr Anderson said the biggest problem concerning the SafeZone application was motivating students to register online so the app can function properly. “We’re always encouraging students to download the app and register because a lot of people download the app but don’t necessarily convert that to registration… there are 200-300 downloads that have not been converted to registration. That’s the constant message we’re trying to work through: while you might have downloaded it, it won’t work unless you have registered it.”

Josh Flint is a University of Wollongong student studying a Bachelor of Journalism


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