In 2016, Adam Jones was attacked by a stranger on the street. He was left in a coma for a month, and when he awoke, had no memory of the vicious attack. Jones had to learn to eat, talk, and walk again. A year later, at trial, the accused attacker was acquitted, even though he had a history of violent crime and was found with Jones’s money in his pocket and blood on his clothes.
Jones was understandably upset. How could this man get away with an attack so brutal? During the trial, Jones was asked to ID his attacker. He didn’t have any memory of the attack, because of the damage done to his brain. Jones couldn’t definitively ID the man, and he walked free. Had there been a shred of video or audio evidence, his attacker would be in jail today. He decided to never let this happen to someone else.
For the next year, Jones worked tirelessly to develop the safety app he wished he’d had during his attack. In 2018, he launched Zeer. Zeer is a next-generation 911, personal safety platform. Users can open Zeer manually or trigger the app by saying a secret safeword. Zeer then calls 911 while live streaming video and location to a user’s emergency contacts and first responders. Everything is then backed up in the cloud.
Jones, a longtime client of the SBDC, knew Zeer was a lifesaving product. But he needed help improving the company’s digital presence. Jones’s SBDC consultant and mentor John Ondik recommended him for the Digital Connect program. Digital Connect pairs small businesses with a team of dedicated Temple University students and full-time SBDC staff who evaluate their digital needs and provide solutions. For Adam and Zeer, a website transformation was necessary. “Our website did not reflect the cutting-edge technology we are building,” said Jones. “The Digital Connect program, and student developers, helped update zeersafe.com to reflect our brand and personality.”
Students completed a total rebuild of the Zeer website. The Digital Connect team enhanced the user interface of the website, making it more attractive and easier to navigate. They updated and expanded content on the site to enhance search engine optimization. They also made the site dynamic, allowing it to be resized and maintain is appearance on different sized screens.
Because of Digital Connect, Jones now has a website that expertly presents Zeer to the world. “The students performed incredibly well. I do not think it’s possible I could be happier with the outcome,” says Jones.
There are big things coming in Zeer’s future. The company was recently awarded an AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research contract this year. With that investment, they are planning expansions within the Northeast. There is still lots of work to be done to get emergency services in the US into the 21st century, so Jones is working with government partners to adapt the system. Zeer is currently in beta testing here in the US. You can help test the app here. In the EU, Zeer is available to all citizens.
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