Technology keeps visitors safe in CD emergency
Visitors to the Whanganui region were kept informed of the civil defence emergency using new technology.
Christchurch start-up company GeoZone worked with Whanganui Mayor Annette Main to deliver a real-time safety message via their network of GPS enabled travel apps.
Company founder Adam Hutchinson says that many visitors don’t check local media as they travel around, making them difficult to contact.
"Based on their current GPS location, there were 22 tourists in Whanganui at the time of sending.
“We pushed two messages with Civil Defence information and from the Mayor, informing them of the emergency and what to do," says Adam.
The text-based messages were sent directly to user devices in different languages determined by language settings on traveller's mobile device.
GeoZone’s seven-person team manages 17 GPS enabled travel apps, including CamperMate, the Maui app, Britz app and Jucy app and connects to more than 7000 visitors each day. Last month the business won the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards Innovative Mobile category.
GeoZone's first safety message was sent out to users in Whanganui at 11am on Sunday.
Adam says it was a new way of using geo-targeting technology and an efficient way of contacting travellers. "We have a direct connection to tourists, and while it was developed for commercial advertising, we can use it to keep tourists safe and informed.”
Whanganui Mayor Annette Main credited GeoZone and their work to get the safety message out. “We need to make sure we are able to connect with visitors as well as locals in an emergency situation, and using this innovative technology was the perfect was for is to do this.”