Unite to Protect. Such is the mission of the latest Malaysian-brewed community-based app seeking to transform the region, one upload at a time. MYHERO by Dino Media recently launched version 1.0 of its mobile application, officially opening up its platform for HEROs of all shapes, sizes, races and religions to be seen and heard.
Positioning itself as a ‘digital loudhailer’, the app enables users to share community related information such as crime incidences, road closures, service complaints or even requests for help. This is made possible via several ways.
Events are reported in a similar fashion to Facebook posts- complete with supporting pictures and captions. This app encourages users to highlight both positive and negative community issues ranging from broken street lamps and missing pets, to words of encouragement in support of worthy achievements in the area. Users also get to rate such reports on whether they agree or disagree with them to prevent unnecessary and/or inaccurate reporting.
What makes MYHERO unique from other social media reporting channels is that such reports are fed only to surrounding communities depending on the geolocation of the user. This ensures that users are not bombarded with a plethora of irrelevant reports but are privy to only what is going on around them at any particular moment. In Malaysia, coverage of the reports is set at a 20km radius. However, this may be widened by users who repost reports, as the information then gets channeled to a wider network based on their location.
For those who would like to be constantly aware of happenings in certain communities, MYHERO allows for the creation of community groups where members can share updates and events with the group without needing to be physically present at the same locality during the time of posting.
Monitoring of events is also possible via the apps’ integration with Google Maps, allowing users to zoom in on hotspots in their respective localities. This is particularly useful as users may then know what to anticipate and plan their activities better. Building on the crowd-sourcing platform, it is perhaps somewhat similar to Waze, but in the form of news reports that are not limited to traffic conditions.
Calls for help may be channeled via distress alerts to pre-configured contacts and nearby MYHERO users. Dedicated SOS buttons have been embedded into the app’s interface and even integrates with the overall Android OS, making it fast and easy to call for help during an emergency.
There is even a Safe and Sound notification option, a simple way to let loved ones know that you have safely arrived at your destination or for other times where reassurance is needed.
User experience with the app is great, with this writer finding everything from the layout to the graphics and typefaces tastefully done. It is easy to use and even has a floating launcher available for fast access.
Apart from the opportunity to save the day as a local hero, users are also rewarded by earning HERO Points which can be used to collect avatars or traded in for real-life rewards.
According to co-founder Chan Wei Chi, he is open to exploring various collaborative avenues with relevant stakeholders such as government authorities in utilising the possibilities generated by the app to combat social ills, especially crime.
At the moment the app is available on all Android devices and can be downloaded from the Google Play store. An iOS version is in the works and once finalised, MYHERO will look into expanding to the Singapore market possibly sometime early next year.
With all the recent happenings, we could all really do with a HERO in our communities – saving our money, saving our time, or ultimately even saving our lives. Would you like to be that HERO?