Friday, February 13, 2015

Road ID app goes beyond bracelet

I started wearing a Road ID bracelet almost as soon as they came out. They had thoughtful ads on the Tour de France featuring a bunch of pro riders talking about crashes, so I got one. Later Pattie got one, too. Their quality is superb; I wear mine every day and I am only on my second bracelet. In fact, my first one is still functional, it just looks beat up.

The idea behind the Road ID is a small message with emergency contact information and a PIN number that emergency responders can use to look up whatever information I choose to place on my page at Road ID. Additional points of contact and medical stuff. I am not allergic to anything like penicillin, but it would help an ER staff to know if I was, or if I am taking blood thinners.

Recently Road ID came out with a smartphone app that complements their bracelet. It consists of two parts. First is a wallpaper maker that helps you to create a lock screen for your smartphone with contact information. Here is mine:

I chose to add the phrase about wearing a bracelet. Pattie took this pic with her phone, which you can see in the reflection. I obfuscated the phone numbers here, they are visible on my phone. Again, this is what you see when you turn on my phone.

The second part is a timer and movement detector. Once started, if I stop moving for more than a few minutes my phone will send a text message alert to whomever I configured -- in my case, Pattie. She can also see a map with my current location as given by my phone's GPS. My phone will do its best to warn me before sending the alert. Imagine how happy Pattie would be if she drove all the way to Hawaii Kai only to discover I had stopped off at Starbucks and forgot to turn off my tracker.

This is probably overkill for those morning runs where there are plenty of people around. It makes good sense on weekends, especially those long bike rides through the countryside. It might even work on an open water swim provided I place the phone in a zip-lock bag and put that inside my swim cap. On second thought, my phone is way too big for that. I know, stash the phone in a Kiefer SaferSwimmer.

I know that it might seem intrusive to the person left behind, but the peace of mind this app delivers is more than worth whatever disgruntlement is causes. And for those of you who cherish a long bike ride as a means to get away on your own for awhile, you really do not want to be all alone when your heart decides it doesn't want to work any more. Get yourself a Road ID, and the app.

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