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Vizsafe — doing well by doing good

written by Guy Brandon

New technology by its nature involves a shift of power, and the impacts are never neutral. Vizsafe’s platform represents the use of a series of technologies that have reached a tipping point, combined to deliver a new and transformational global safety and security solution.

History and Philosophy of Technology professor Melvin Kranzberg said it well: ‘Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.’ While in its purest, conceptual form any technology — whether that is the personal computer, the smartphone, blockchain, social media or any of a thousand other developments of recent years and decades — may have no obvious ethic embedded in it, the reality is that in its implementation it will always reflect the values and agenda of its creators. As different cultures discovered around the end of the second millennium BC, ironworking technology was an important way in which farming productivity could be improved. It could also give invading armies a decisive advantage — a killer edge, so to speak.

Vizsafe’s solution relies on the rise and intersection of at least three major technologies. The saturation of the smartphone market is a significant enabler for our platform; over three quarters of all Americans and as many as 92% of 18–29 year-olds own a smartphone. At the same time, this near-ubiquitous use of mobile devices has both reflected and powered the popularity of sharing via social media. In the course of just a few short years, social media has become woven into the fabric of our lives. A decade ago it would have been almost unthinkable for people to snap and upload scenes from their everyday lives; now, it is second nature. Lastly, blockchain technology is coming of age. Blockchains have developed enough and been sufficiently battle-tested to have established their security and utility. The technology is now gaining mainstream interest and traction, as the slew of recent headlines across all news media demonstrates.

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Vizsafe’s blockchain enabled crowdsourcing safety network

All of the technologies above have their disadvantages and potential problems as well as their advantages (the spectrum of news headlines about bitcoin and blockchain being an obvious example). What they have in common, though, is that they are here to stay. This cultural normalization, as well as technical capability, is one we can leverage to deliver a collective global benefit.

The same technologies that are now, unfortunately, routinely used to recruit new members to terrorist groups, spread hate propaganda, hide funds and organize atrocities, can also be used to ensure transparency, inform the crowd and mobilize a collective response — to say nothing of the day-to-day opportunities to make life just a little bit easier for everyone.

That is our mission at Vizsafe: to use technology to empower everyone to participate in the safety of the communities in which we all live, work, visit and play — as the bumper sticker says, to Be the change you want to see.

To learn more, please visit:

with contributions by Peter Mottur and Claude Sheer

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Vizsafe connects citizens, businesses and governments to enable safer and smarter communities. Post/map/share photos, videos, cameras and other sensors.

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