DROR personal safety app now has a social distancing feature

DROR personal safety app now has a social distancing feature

Ever since the COVID-19 epidemic rose in the world, our vocabulary has gained several new words. Even children now know the meaning of quarantine, lockdown, and social distancing. All these are measures to control the spread of the Coronavirus.

Ironically, the danger that all countries are facing together can only be solved by keeping people apart. Social distancing has become the golden words of safety from Coronavirus. And many celebrities, dignitaries, government agencies, and even businesses are urging people to maintain social distancing.

Moving on with the same spirit, DROR personal safety app has been updated with a social distancing feature too. Let’s take a look at what this app offers.

What is DROR?

Launched in 2018, DROR is a personal safety app that connects with emergency services and healthcare facilities to help its users in emergencies. As per the information on the DROR website, the app leverages technology, data, and community-based networking so its users can help each other when needed. As of now, DROR is available as an Android app. It will soon be available for iOS devices too.

Features of DROR:

Social distancing tracker:

This is the latest feature of the DROR app. It uses Bluetooth signals between phones to detect whether you are maintaining social distancing or not. It takes into account two factors. One, it measures the strength of the Bluetooth signal to detect how close you are to someone else. Here, it is necessary that the Bluetooth is on in that other person’s phone as well as yours. Two, the length of time you spend with these people. Based upon these parameters, the DROR app calculates your daily, weekly, and 14 days’ social distancing score. This score will tell you how well you are maintaining social distancing. DROR is running a contest too, for encouraging users to maintain a good social distancing score.

The app also has a list of all State Helpline phone numbers for COVID-19 help. And a map showing the testing centers. You can find these by going to the COVID-19 tab on the app. You can call DROR helpline too.

Features for emergency help:

DROR has an SOS feature that can get speedy help to users. It can deliver on-road assistance, contact DROR captains, or help you get quick medical assistance. The DROR captains are, I guess, the connected users that are ready to help each other. Next to the SOS button, there’s a Call Ambulance button. This could be a great help to people needing urgent medical care. Finding a doctor or ambulance service’s number in an emergency is not always possible.

Tracking feature:

Its tracking feature can ensure safer travels. When you use the Track My Trip feature, the DROR’s command center personnel will track your trip and alert your emergency contacts in case there is a route deviation.

There is also a feature which can help you share details of an upcoming meeting with your contacts and have them keep a track of this meeting. This can be helpful if you are meeting a stranger and feeling unsafe.

Rate places:

This feature helps you rate places. Your rating can help other users be on alert if they are visiting a place you rated poorly. These ratings would reflect on a heat map. However, currently, the app is showing a heat map of Covid-19 spread in India. I couldn’t find my location’s heat map. It might be that there are too few users of DROR in my area, so no heat map could be generated.

Incident reporting:

The app also has a feature in which users can report incidents of crime. You can report things like murder, eve-teasing, cab driver issue, dark lane, poor network, etc. But when I checked the Incidents that have been reported, I saw people using it as a social network. A guy had shared his picture. There was a post about the hanging of Nirbhaya rapists. Another about Dilip Kumar falling sick with Coronavirus. Such kind of posts turns this feature useless.


Finally, you can create your ‘community’ by selecting the contacts on your phone and forming a group for a personal chat.

DROR app review

Overall, I think DROR is a very well-meaning app. But it has a long way to go yet. The SOS feature can be of great help in case of emergencies. And the idea of connected volunteers ready for help is excellent. But the efficiency of this emergency response feature depends upon DROR’s network of connections.

The new social distancing feature is well-meaning too. It may be able to motivate some people to keep their social distancing score high. However, I fear this advantage will be very limited. If fear of death doesn’t stop people from stepping out of home, a score on an app can’t be much effective either. This feature has no other use. Unlike the Aarogya Setu app, it does not alert you if you are near a COVID-19 patient. It only alerts the users if they are too close to a high volume of human contact. I guess if someone is in a crowd, he knows he is in a crowd.

Overall, it’s only the SOS, Call ambulance, and the tracking features that I liked.  These features, if backed by a strong network of users and services, can be lifesavers. But features like Community, incident reporting, and social distancing score did not seem much use to me.

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