This was an all-in-one personal security app invented by Phil Reitnour. It allowed users to share their GPS location instantly, contact the nearest police department and live stream video and audio.
It also has essential information for first responders in an emergency, therefore it’s useful for times of crisis. Another feature of this app is that it can automatically switch into stealth mode to not attract attention in unsafe situations.
It saves all the recorded information on a distant server so it can be recovered even if the device is lost. This recorded and archived information can be used for evidentiary purposes.
There’s a free version of the app, but if you want access to more features, you’ll need to subscribe to the monthly subscription. That links you to a 24/7 monitoring service that is far more helpful in emergencies.
The paid version had an added service of allowing you to choose which numbers first responders can call if you’re injured. The app was supported by Verizon Wireless and worked with college campus security to ensure your safety. It also links you to a car service you can contact for rescue and a way to message people stealthily.
The patent lists Reitnour and his four children as the app’s inventors.
Are They Still an Active Company?
No, they are no longer in business. By 2017, Reitnour was $3M in debt and involved in various lawsuits. He was found dead in the Schuylkill River that year. However, users can still download the app from iTunes or Playstore.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Phil Reitnour and Jason Friedberg, his business partner, went to Shark Tank together to pitch the app. They wanted some financial help so that they could expand the business. They were seeking an investment of $250,000 for 10% ownership of their company. They claimed that the company was valued at $2.5 million.
They described how the app worked and shared that they had a call center too. To demonstrate this, they showed a video of how the app worked.
Initially, Mark’s reaction was to compare the app to a security agency; he also didn’t feel Reitnour and Friedberg understood the technology well enough. Barbara’s response wasn’t so positive either. She wondered why people couldn’t just call 911 instead of using this app. She genuinely didn’t believe they could succeed, so she opted out of investing.
Jason added that the app could send out more information than the time it would take to update 911. He said the app was pretty popular because it had 211,000 users then. They had also recently released a premium version.
They built on this pitch a bit more, adding that the app even had a separate version for institutions, costing $25,000 per year. However, their sales were a little measly, at only $185,000. On top of this, the primary investment was Reitnour’s own $3 million, and app development outsourced for $2.5 million.
Robert Herjavec added his story of how he felt Reitnour investing so much as the primary investor was a little risky and that businesses like this often failed. Only Lora Greinor seemed mildly interested, but she felt it wasn’t being utilized to its full potential, so she backed out. So did Mr. Wonderful.
Overall, the EmergenSee Shark Tank review was negative, and they had to leave without an investment.
Our Review of EmergenSee
We tried out EmergenSee to see how it performs in real life.
The good news is that the app has a straightforward interface with different options for selecting what kind of danger you’re facing, such as ‘Fire,’ first responder information, and a 911 contacting the prospect. It also has a live streaming video that opens as soon as you open the app. The price is reasonable for the premium version, but even the free version is good enough for gathering evidence alone.
The bad news is that because there was no outsourced team to continue working on the app and resolving bug issues, potential lagging might cause problems for people using it in an emergency. Additionally, it might be faster just to call 911 than go through your phone looking for the app. Also, if you ever forget to turn off the EmergenSee’s service, it might accidentally send out alerts to local authorities.
Pros and Cons of EmergenSee
Pros of EmergenSee
- 24/7 professional monitoring station
- Friendly user interface
- Gathers evidence
- Reasonable price
- First responder medical information
Cons of EmergenSee
- Software lagging might not be ideal for dangerous situations
- Turning on the app during an unsafe situation might be difficult
- It needs to be deactivated to avoid accidental alerts being sent out
Who is EmergenSee for?
EmergenSee is primarily for women and childrenor anyone who’s heading into a dangerous situation or area.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Although it was pretty unique for its time, now many other alternatives are available on the market.
AlphaCom Care Go Personal Alarm is one good alternative to EmergenSee. It’s also a personal security app.The difference is that it comes with an alarm keychain, so you don’t have to open the app to send out an alert; just pressing the keychain is enough.
The best part about the Care App that it’s connected to is that there’s no limit to the number of contacts it can alert at a time. This is helpful in case any of the primary contacts are busy. However, it also offers an additional Critical Alert option in case a contact has their phone on silent.
The chances of false alarms are minimal because it needs a certain amount of force to be applied before an alert can be sent out.
Our Final Thoughts
This app is a good investment for young college students, women and children. For college students, it has a great option for contacting campus security. Plus the concierge service is an added bonus. However, it might not be the most effective personal security option on the market.