Seoul city is developing a safety app to let users alert officials of their location and send live videos from their smartphone in an emergency.

The app has been aimed at helping women feel safer in the city, but it will be “useful even in some other emergencies such as violence in blind spots of CCTV”, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said.

The app, tentatively called ‘Ansimi’, lets users send their location from their smartphone to district officials if they feel unsafe.

“If a user operates the ‘Ansimi’ app when returning home at midnight or feeling danger such as stalking, the user’s location will be displayed on the operation board at the integrated control centre for each autonomous district [in Seoul],” the government said.

If the situation escalates, the user can activate the app to send real-time footage from their smartphone directly to the control centre.

Officials will also get images from surveillance cameras nearby, photos to identify the app’s user and their contact numbers.

The staff will dispatch rescue and nearby police officials to the user’s location when they identify “danger that could led to a real crime”, the government said.

The app could also be useful to alert officials of victims trapped during disasters.

The government plans to launch the app in September. It will test the app in five districts in the city this year, before expanding it across all districts.

Image by Richy, licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0