Independent Australian inventor takes on Apple over safety button that could save your life, launching a petition at Change.org to push Apple’s buttons.
Ian Kinny, creator of the one-click eButton hardware and Android app designed to alert others you’re in trouble and need help is taking on Apple so the eButton works with iPhones.
As we reported in July
, the eButton
uses Bluetooth to interface with a smartphone, but due to the way iOS works, pressing the button causes a message to appear in the iPhone’s messaging app but won’t let the eButton press the “send” button remotely – unlike Android.
This means the app works on iOS but requires users to manually tap the send button on screen, which simply isn’t practical if you’ve fallen down and can’t get up, or are on a dud date and want a discreet way to alert friends to help get you out there.
Mr Kinny began developing the eButton about 18 months ago from his base in Coffs Harbour to heighten safety for Australians.
The eButton is a world first in utilising Low Energy Bluetooth technology to initiate a smart phone help app, with one click of the button activating the eButtonApp to send an SMS to the user’s “help contacts”, and if the user movies, providing updated location details.
During research and development of the eButton, Mr Kinny discovered the device was fully compatible with Android Bluetooth Smart Ready phones running Android 4.3 or later, however, he found issues with the device working on iPhones.
“We discovered the eButton didn’t work to its full capacity on iPhones which was extremely disappointing as a lot of our followers love the product but don’t have the right phone,” he said.
“iPhones have the Low Energy Bluetooth technology needed to activate the eButtonApp, however, Apple has a functionality requiring users to actually tap ‘send’ for each SMS. This defeats the purpose of the discreet nature of the eButton.
“The beauty of the eButton is that it is small enough to be carried discreetly under clothing, concealed on a necklace, on a belt or in a pocket and can activate the eButtonApp up to 20 metres from the user’s phone.”
So, Mr Kinny has launched a petition via online platform Change.org to rally Aussies with iPhones to put pressure on Apple
“We need Apple to get on board to change the iPhone’s functionality to allow the eButton to act as a proxy ‘send’ button on the iPhone,” he said.
“I have taken this up with Apple but have had no assistance and don’t know how to proceed. I’m hoping my petition will gain traction from the general public to encourage Apple to make this change.
“It’s frustrating as I have this incredible product to enhance the lives of Australians, but can’t get one of Australia’s biggest smart phone companies on board.”
The eButton was created as a “peace of mind” button to serve families while encouraging good corporate social responsibility for businesses looking after their employees, including late night workers or those in remote regions.
Unlike other devices in the market, eButton is specifically designed for the user to discreetly request assistance in times of need with just one click, without relying on voice communications, without expensive monthly fees and without connecting the end-user to a third-party call-centre, but instead, directly to family members and friends.
Mr Kinny added: “You might be threatened, or it might be impractical or embarrassing to take your phone out of your bag, unlock it, and scroll through several screens to either call, SMS or initiate an app to request assistance.
“People needing the eButton could include an elderly person living independently, a person walking to their car or using public transport, backpacking, working at a 24-hour convenient store, delivering pizza, or a teenager at a party needing to be collected by their parents but not wanting to initiate a call for risk of being ridiculed.”
The eButton costs $29.95, with the eButtonApp priced at $1.99. Current postage within Australia for the eButton is $7.20. There are no ongoing charges.
eButton’s web site is here
, and a new YouTube video showing how the button works is here
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