Necessity is the mother of invention. The "I Am Alive" app, created by a Lebanese woman studying abroad who had grown weary of worrying about friends and family in her home country, has caught on with a much wider audience.
With a push of a button, the app posts a message to a user's Twitter account: "I am still alive! #Lebanon #LatestBombing"
The appeal of the device comes from the fact mobile networks are often overloaded immediately following a terror attack. Users can get word out via the app before such network jams occur and save loved ones hours of worry and grief.
In its first month of operation, it was downloaded 5,000 times, security website Defense One reported.
Sandra Hassan, 26, developed the device earlier this year while in graduate school in Paris.
"It's the same cycle each time," Miss Hassan told the website regarding the ongoing violence in Lebanon. "You have to rush to your phone or Facebook or Twitter to try to make sure that everyone you know is okay. It's a horrible feeling."
Ms. Hassan is now working with the nonprofit International Crisis Group to develop a version of her app for use in situations from natural disasters to mass-transit accidents, Defense One reported.
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