The developers of popular running and cycling app Strava have announced a new safety feature for premium members that lets users broadcast their location in real time to friends and family.
The new feature, called Beacon, means runners and cyclists can now share their whereabouts with select contacts, who can then easily locate them if they don't return from their workout when expected or in the event of an emergency, for example.
"Let's say it's 3:30, you said you'd be home at 3:00 and you're not moving towards home," said Ethan Hollinshead, Senior Product Manager on Strava's blog. "That's a good indication that they should reach out to you and see what's up. Maybe you stopped for a coffee, or maybe you got a flat tire. Where it's really designed to help the cyclist or runner is in that peace of mind scenario – to keep people from unnecessarily worrying about you."
According to Strava, selected contacts don't need to be users of the app. Rather, the app sends a text message to the contacts that includes a secure web link showing the user's location on a map, allowing them to track the user's progress in real time.
Once premium users have updated the app, the Beacon feature will appear in the lower right of the New Run or Ride screen. A tap of the Beacon icon lets users choose up to three safety contacts who will receive their location when they confirm to send the text.