The journey of the ask-ari mobile application.
When we started out our aim was to build a mobile application that will evolve around offering protection to the owner, we looked out at a series of options such as notifying the owner when danger is about to happen, alerting the owner when it detects it's being stolen, predict when a crime is about to happen, etc everything the young human mind could think of at the time.
As the world of tech evolved, privacy become an issue, and yet we had not yet managed to add our feature-packed mobile application to the iOS platform since on it the application had very restricted access to the hardware of the phone which would enable the mobile application make the necessary detections and alerts such as sim card detection to report action in case of change of sim card without code access. In the meantime, Google was also adjusting application requirements on the google play store, one by one our app features become “illegal” on the playstore calling for a new look at things in the direction the application was to take.
The birth of the current version, 3 which was a major bump from the previous versions that were hardware intensive to operate this was going to rely on an external source for the information it was to give about a specific location. To achieve this we had to build a source of information that could store data we collect from members of the ask-ari app community, a member would share their feeling or rating of a location .i.e safe, average, or dangerous, giving a reason for the rating then the application would store this rating and share it with another member who approaches this location.
This version managed to make it onto both mobile platforms of iOS and Android which was good news for the company since now we could have a wider coverage of distribution and feedback. Grateful to the early adopters of the application we managed to have over 1000 reports shared to the application in the first year of the launch of version 3, but now we identified another challenge most of the users that were downloading the application were area safety checkers and not reporters. An area safety checker is an ask-ari app user that only seeks to find out how safe their area is while a reporter is that user who not only seeks to find out how safe their area is but also shares the current situation in that area.
Having more checkers than reporters made us realize a gap in our mission as an organization, true we wanted to map the world by area safety but the method we sought to rely on which was to have community members share updates on their current locations wasn’t going to deliver as desired, so we needed to upgrade our source of area information to have more data than that which was shared to it by the community members (reporters).
Upgrading our source of information meant that we needed to intelligently collect data concerning area safety across the globe, we needed an ai, we needed ARI, an Area Reporting Intelligence. With ARI we can now offer more than before, on top of what the app reporters share, the software can now give extra information about a location even when users haven’t shared anything about it making this app more relevant to the checkers than ever before.
It is a new approach that we have taken and believe that it will help us more in achieving our vision as it fulfills our mission each day. To see this product evolve from the initial stages to a version that keeps earning downloads on the Android and Apple stores gives us comfort that the world will finally get to see ask-ari app in the full light of intent the vision bearers had when developing it.
Feel Safe, Live Safe!