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‘Oldies’ get in on app action

Announcement posted by The Audacious Agency 15 Sep 2014

Giving up a comfortable retirement to make a difference

A Brisbane couple prove entrepreneurial spirit is not limited by age after giving up a comfy retirement to develop a safety app.

How do a retired truck driver and police admin officer become app developers? The idea for their safety app - Guardian Duress Alert - was developed after a conversation around the dining table about how unsafe the world is.

Michael said they had been watching the news when the story about Jill Meagher came on. “We were horrified that this young woman could be murdered so close to home. We knew then and there we wanted to do something so other people could quickly call for help,” he said.

“At the time, we had no idea how. After some brainstorming we just knew the ‘how’ would involve technology.”

Lucy said two years ago the couple were the stereotypical couple in their 60s. “We had our mobile phones, tablets, computers and digital TVs but beyond turning them on, we really knew did not know much about technology,” she said

“We came up with the app idea using smartphone technology because everyone has a phone – from children to grandparents. It just seem smart to develop something that was only a touch away.”

In partnership with Creative Intersection, Michael and Lucy became app developers, especially the process of getting the product approved by Apple. 

Michael said Apple tested the app every which way but loose. “They make sure it works and it ticks all the guidelines. It was a frustrating process but we are experts now at what an app needs to get the Apple tick of approval,” he said.

A mortgaged house and life savings later, the Guardian Medi Alert is on the market at a once off payment from iTunes and Google Play store for Apple and Android devices.

Michael said the Alert uses GPS and push notification to see an instant alert to up to five people. “Once the alert is activated it monitors and sends the sender’s location every five seconds,” he said.

“The alert is ideal for teenagers, young adults particularly women out on their own at night and especially for older people living on their own.

Looking back, Michael and Lucy are amazed at what they have developed in the past two years. 

From an idea that stemmed from a news story of a brutal murder of a young woman, they are now full time building a whole range of alerts as diverse as a personal alert to a medical alert, and now tracking mining vehicles world-wide.


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Annette Densham

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