A new security application called Viu is able to warn users when a shootout occurs in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. In addition to informing about the exchange of fire, the free platform allows users to transmit events and events live, such as robberies, assaults, accidents and even fires, anonymously. Through a map that shows the location of occurrences, it is possible to transmit event information via WhatsApp.
Rio de Janeiro suffers from recurrent problems related to public safety. Many arterials in the city, such as Linha Amarela or Avenida Brasil, are constantly affected by shootings and trawling, for example.
With the proposal to increase security in the capital of Rio de Janeiro, Viu arrives for Android and wants to have one million people registered on its platform by the end of 2022. Today, there are more than five thousand, according to the app’s page on Google Play Store.
Viu has an alerts feed that reports live activities of other users. Someone with the platform installed on their cell phone can report an incident or open a live stream, which also appears in other users’ timelines.
When opening Viu, the user is faced with a map filled with orange dots. These tags indicate security events and, by clicking on them, the user can view videos, photos or lives made about that occurrence. As in a social network, he can like, comment or share the “posts”.
To start an event, simply click a “+” button, wait three seconds and stream live. By selecting the live option, the user can also pass the information through WhatsApp and mark places of interest in Rio de Janeiro so that the person receives more information along the feed about that location.
The technology is being developed for iOS and is expected to arrive on Apple’s system in the coming months.
Application was created by American to “save lives”
The application, developed by the American economist Jason Sprenger, is inspired by models that work in the rest of the world. For now, it is still in the testing phase — the Google Play Store warns that the user may experience instability when browsing Viu. For Sprenger, it is necessary to establish trust between the carioca and the app, and this is also done through the transmission of correct information. The economist told the Extra:
The only events that go up without going through a review by our team are live streams. In this case, the risk of being fake news is very small, because it is the person’s camera capturing and transmitting through our application at that moment.
Sprenger, who is married to a Brazilian woman, has lived in Rio since 2020. He says he decided to map incidents of violence after his mother-in-law was the victim of a drag in Barra more than once.
According to the American, the information that a region is violent ends up causing people to flee that place, “and this sometimes ends up saving lives.”
Still in the testing phase with 200 motorcyclists, Viu managed to expedite first aid to a motorcyclist who had his neck cut by a kite line with wax on the Yellow Line. Another motoboy, who passed by the accident area, used the application to record what happened, warning other users of the danger.
Until now, Viu was used to record almost 9,500 occurrences — between 40% and 50% are through lives. On September 15, for example, the app was used for a 23-minute live broadcast of a fire in Botafogo, in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro. Already on October 28, a police chase in Belford Roxo was reported on the platform, with images that appear to be from security cameras.
The American economist says that, through Viu, in the case of the fire in Botafogo, the users’ reports made the firefighters always pay attention to the developments. “Our users warned, and the firefighters returned,” concludes Sprenger.
It is noteworthy that residents of Rio de Janeiro also rely on the Fogo Cruzado application, a collaborative platform — like Viu — that monitors shootings, police operations and armed violence.