Emergency App Where Are U

The official smartphone app of the Emergency Number 112

20 June Jun 2016

Design Group Italia’s digital design team has been recently involved in the redesign of the emergency app “Where Are U”. It is the official smartphone app of the Emergency Number 112, a new model of managing emergency calls used in many European countries. Every emergency call is received by a single PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). 112 operators locate the source of the call and provide a first qualification, in order to define if the emergency is to be managed by Ambulance services, Firefighters or Police/Carabinieri.
The app allows placing an emergency call, along with the transmission of the correct position of the caller, and it’s directly connected to the 112 emergency centers in Regione Lombardia.

How does it work?

The app gets the caller position provided by the smartphone’s GPS and shows it on the screen. When an emergency call is placed, the position is sent on the smartphone’s data channel or, when data network is not available, by an SMS. This backup mechanism guarantees the transmission of the location information whenever an emergency call is placed.
The app provides a special function called “mute call”, which lets the user ask for help even in a situation where he isn’t able to speak. The call is placed simply by selecting the function and then the type of help required (police, ambulance, firefighters). The operator will be notified that the user cannot speak, but thanks to the position received from the system he will be able to send help.
DGI’s team put special attention in the design of the app interface, given the peculiar context in which it will be used, by analyzing the psychological and emotional states that guide the actions of people when they are in an emergency. The app is designed to minimize the possibility of errors, and to make it as quick and easy as possible to make a call.
Beta 80 - a premiere software company with decades of experience in emergency management - has developed mobile applications and backend systems.