BEACON demo

Rapid emergency contacting


Description

This is the demo version, so BEACON will not alert 911, but can be used to still send messages to a set of phone numbers.

You may find the LIVE version here: https://routinehub.co/shortcut/7383/

Introduction:

"BEACON can be used in emergencies to batch-send a message and your location to a set of trusted phone numbers, as well as call 911."

This is a shortcut that automatically sends messages to alert selected contacts or emergency services if you are in danger or similarly unwanted situations. This shortcut was built with only the United States in mind, so it only contacts 911 for emergency services.

During setup, it is imperative that you read FULLY through the shortcut and this description page. There are text fields you MUST fill out for the shortcut to function, and you MUST grant permissions to location, messages, and notifications.

System Requirements:

  • Access to location
  • Access to iMessages and Contacts
  • Access to notifications
  • A numeric password encrypted in base64 (This can be created using an online base64 converter, or through my shortcut, EndCode [https://routinehub.co/shortcut/7384/]. Set the repeat to 1

Setup:

Once downloading the shortcut, you will be prompted with the initial question to enable contacting emergency services. Since this is the demo version of BEACON, selecting option 1 will not actually contact 911, but you will be able to see what messages would be sent in the live version.

BEFORE RUNNING BEACON, make sure to press the three dots and go INTO the shortcut to edit anything that needs to be changed. Read the comments to see where you should edit information. The list of options you must configure are below: - Name (Line 7) - Description (Line 10) - Trusted Contacts (Line 13) - Encrypted Password (Line 16) - Messages Access (Line 23) - Location Access (Line 24) - Notifications Access (Line 28-29)

During this time, you can read the contents of the messages being sent to your contacts and 911. If you know what you are doing, you can edit these messages to better suit your needs.

As a reminder, the password NEEDS to be encoded in base64. The password NEEDS to be a string of numbers (ex. 1234). This can be created using an online base64 converter, or through my shortcut, EndCode [https://routinehub.co/shortcut/7384/]. Set the repeat to 1

How it works:

Once triggering the shortcut, BEACON will notify your selected contacts (the group of phone numbers) with a preliminary message. The message's purpose is to alert the contacts that you have activated BEACON and may be in danger.

After it is sent, you can cancel the rest of the shortcut by inputting the unencrypted password that you created during setup. If you put in the right password, it sends a message telling your contacts that you are fine.

However, if you put in a wrong password, the shortcut continues to send messages out. Here, the default password is set to 1111, so if your are really still in danger, you can just press OK instead of having to come up with a random number and input that. Of course, this assumes your password is not as simple as 1111.

If the shortcut continues, it will begin to determine your location. THIS MAY TAKE SOME TIME. DO NOT EXIT THE SHORTCUT. Once location has been determined, it sends it to your contacts, along with the time the shortcut was activated.

If you opted to enable contacting emergency services, it is at this time the shortcut will determine whether to call or message 911. If your volume is greater than 50% (ex. Maximum Volume), then the shortcut assumes you are able to make noise and will call 911. If your volume is less than 50% (ex. No Volume), then the shortcut assumes you need to be quiet and will instead text 911.

It is important to note that texting 911 MAY NOT BE SUPPORTED BY EMERGENCY SERVICES. Check your local emergency service policies for more information.

The shortcut sends your location, name, and description created during setup to emergency services.

Now, you are given the option to send an "All Clear" Message, that texts contacts and 911 that you are out of danger. Again, this is protected with the same password as before, and the same parameters apply. If you put in the right password, it sends the message telling your contacts that you are fine. If you put in the wrong password, it sends a message saying that you are still in danger.

You may need to individually contact emergency services even after an "All Clear" message, as they may want to confirm you are out of danger. (Believe me, I tried this). You may find conversations generated by BEACON in your iMessage application.

Additionally, if you put in the wrong password in the previous step, you now have the option to activate an SOS light. I imagined this feature to be mainly used in disaster situations.

Final thoughts:

It is important, important, important, that you have read through the shortcut and this description and UNDERSTAND how the shortcut works. If you know how to make shortcuts, you will be able to tweak what I have created for the better or for your own needs.

Additionally, it may be better to just call 911 or activate iOS's built in SOS feature. This shortcut is just a shortcut, and if you are in immediate danger, using a built in feature will be better for your safety.

This shortcut works best when added as an app to the homescreen.

Stay safe, and I hope you will never need to use this shortcut.


Latest Release Notes

1.0 - Feb. 13, 2022, 4:11 a.m.

Updated initial message to include description of BEACON


Version history