Upstate woman works to develop personal defense smartphone app - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate woman works to develop personal defense smartphone app

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Smartphone users may have noticed a growing amount of personal defense apps hitting the market.

The hi-tech personal protection is a growing trend that even an Upstate defense expert is adding her own touch to.

Shea Kim is a Greenville woman who has a entire business dedicated to self-defense. She's the owner of Definite Defense, a company that specializes in firearm training, including women's-only gun classes.  

Kim says most types of preparedness offers a level of comfort and confidence that acts as its own security. However, she says there are many women who are not comfortable carrying a weapon, so she's working to create another option.

"People have apps on their phones for everything now, I figured maybe they could have an app they could hit it if they were in distress," Kim said.

Field technology expert Deveren Werne of Liquid Video Technologies says has room to grow.

"Most apps right now, don't really do anything for self defense," Werne said.

Werne says the most useful apps typically come with a costly monthly fee to connect its user to a private emergency service. He says free apps currently available aren't as effective. He says many feature alarms and lights aren't very powerful and likely wouldn't be taken seriously as a real emergency.

However, Werne says he expects there will be growth in the market, as many of the utilities on smartphones are under utilized for personal protection.

"The possibilities are limitless, there's nothing you can't do with smartphones," Werne said.  

Kim aims to put something different from what's already on the market. Kim is developing a free app that focuses on personal protection in situations that aren't emergencies, but potentially could become one.

"You don't want to call the police for a flat tire or you're lost in a neighborhood," Kim said.

Instead her app, called Definite Defense would build a list of close contacts and enable a user to message those people at once quickly, and send out a GPS location.

"Maybe you are uncomfortable with the situation, it will let them know and they'll get back to you and know where you are," Kim said.

Kim expects her free app to be available on her company website and in apps stores sometime mid 2014.

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