April 25, 2010

Plerts – Digital Alerts for Tense Situations

Whether you’re hiking in the woods, going on a blind date, or walking home alone in the dark, there are times in life when it’s a good idea to share your latest plans with a loved one in case something goes awry. Plerts is an application that makes it easy for its users to do that, providing an easy way for people to protect themselves from dangerous situations with simple status updates that reveal a user’s latest location to pre-selected friends and family members during a specified period of time.

To use the service, select a duration of time during which you could be at risk—such as during a 20 minute walk home from work late at night or during a blind date that’s supposed to last two hours—and choose which loved ones you’d like to be alerted during that time. At regular intervals, Plerts will ping your phone and send updates about your latest location to whomever you choose. You can also set Plerts to “watchdog” status, which sends alerts to your friends only if you fail to check in at a preset time. Finally, for emergency situations, Plerts offers one-touch panic alerts that automatically notify both your preset contacts and 911 personnel of your immediate location should something awful occur.

Because Plerts has automated the process of updating loved ones about your latest location, you can spend less energy focusing on your phone and more energy remaining aware of what’s going on around you during intimidating situations. If you’re someone who frequently carries a web-enabled phone already, then Plerts is a worthwhile personal safety device that could be very useful in a dangerous situation.

Practical Uses:

  • Let a roommate know when you’re walking home late at night
  • Alert a friend of where you’re going before meeting a stranger on a blind date
  • Send out a panic alert during a medical emergency
  • Go on a solo hike without fear of getting completely lost

Insider Tips:

  • Decide for yourself whether to turn automatic pinging on or off
  • Select your “safety net” of contacts to be alerted in the event of an emergency
  • Set up Plerts to send you motivational messages or reminders each day
  • Sign up for a paid plan to get full access to Plerts’ advanced features

What we liked:

  • Plerts can be used on a mobile web browser, or by downloading the iPhone app
  • During “watchdog” status, alerts are only sent to your contacts if you fail to check in at a predetermined time
  • Ability to determine which contacts should be alerted in different situations
  • Mobile interface is simple, with large buttons that are easy to locate in an emergency

What we didn’t like:

  • Mobile phones without GPS might not be able to deliver completely accurate location information


Company Info:

  • Launched: April 2010
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Austin, Texas
  • Founded by: Colin Anawaty and Andrew Busey
  • Web site:


  • Free plan with limited features
  • Full-feature plan costs $4.99/month, $13.99/quarter, or $49.99/year

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