Microsoft launches emergency app

Software-maker Microsoft has launched a Windows Azure-powered mobile application for Android, expected to prove useful in disaster situations.

The new HelpBridge app simplifies the process of notifying loved ones of a situation by simultaneously sending an e-mail and SMS to the communities a user selects before posting a message to their Facebook wall.

“You can even include your GPS coordinates so that message recipients will know where you are and the circumstances surrounding you,” Microsoft said.

Included in the app is the ability to donate money after a disaster or emergency. “If you’d prefer to give your time rather than money, HelpBridge will show you how you can volunteer in support of disaster relief efforts near where you live and nationwide,” Microsoft explained.

The application, which is supported by the likes of the Red Cross, Care International, Save the Children and NetHope, has been rolled out across the globe.

Similar emergency apps include Kenya’s Ushahidi, a platform that maps out hotspots via SMS that was founded after Kenya’s December 2007 disputed general election. The software is today in use globally to map out disasters or trouble spots in various countries. This year, it is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

Posted in: Mobile

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