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Apr 19, 2022

Personal protection – with a simple shake of your phone

Article by Pierre Bruwer

MD

Netstar

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JOHANNESBURG, April 2022 – Vehicle-tracking and fleet-intelligence pioneer Netstar, a subsidiary of Altron, has launched Netstar Companion – an innovative, on-demand emergency-response service to protect and connect customers, their family and their loved ones.

Netstar Companion is an app-based technology downloaded onto a user’s smartphone. Whenever the user taps the app on their phone, it connects to the nearest armed response off­icer or emergency medical services responder to their location.

“Netstar Companion is an instant solution to many of the emergencies our customers may experience,” says Netstar MD Pierre Bruwer. “We want them to have the comfort of knowing emergency help is just a tap away. Time is critical in such situations and Netstar Companion enables them to easily activate an emergency process. Just tap your app! It’s all about simplicity, ease of use, convenience and speed.”

Netstar’s new mobile technology service is perfectly suited to South African conditions, providing always-on peace of mind and reassurance in a country with one of the highest crime rates in the world.

South African Police crime statistics for October-December 2021 show kidnappings across the country rose alarmingly. Although contact crime dropped 4%, kidnappings continue to be a great concern, with cases rising a massive 35,7% from the previous reporting period to 2 605. Gauteng accounted for the bulk of the kidnappings in SA, followed by KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape. In this environment, a panic-assist service can mean the difference between life and death.

For around the price of two coffees a month, user friendly and accessible anywhere, any time, Netstar Companion’s cutting-edge technology and mobile functionality helps protect users even when they’re away from their car. Smart technology identifies the closest response vehicle to a customer’s location and autonomously navigates it to the exact GPS location of the customer. 

Netstar has partnered with the best response companies nationwide to give customers access to a growing network of more than 1 500 armed responders across the country. The streamlined service ensures customers get help as quickly as possible.  

The app itself also has a shake-to-activate mechanism. When activated the app automatically records a 20-second audio/video recording and sends it to the Netstar Companion servers for safekeeping, and for possible use as evidence in future legal action.

Netstar Companion: How does it work?

  • Tap or shake for help: In an emergency, a simple shake of the mobile phone activates the panic mode. The customer can also activate the mobile panic button on the Netstar Companion app.
  • Closest responder activated: The alert is autonomously distributed to the five response vehicles nearest to the customer’s location. The control centre calls the customer to confirm the emergency – if the customer does not answer, a response vehicle is dispatched.
  • GPS navigation: The accepting response vehicle is navigated via GPS and the responder device, directly to the incident location. 
  • Instant client profile: Client identity and other key information is automatically shared with the dispatched vehicle and control centre. 
  • Control room back-up: The control centre oversees all activations and can send additional support if needed.

“Besides pioneering the vehicle-tracking category in South Africa, and being among the top providers of fleet-intelligence technology, Netstar can now protect our customers and their families in other areas of their lives, when they’re away from their vehicles,” says Bruwer.

“Netstar Companion can offer personal safety for children when they’re at school, to loved ones when they’re alone at home and to family members on shopping trips and other outings. It’s another step in using tracking technology to leave our customers feeling protected,” says Bruwer.

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