Peter Sunde, a cofounder of file sharing site Pirate Bay, wants you to download his new app and then forget all about it — until there’s a major emergency.
The app is essentially a warning system that will alert you to nearby threats should you be anywhere near something like a gas leak, forest fire, terrorist attack, or even war. Sunde spoke about his new venture to the Swedish site Breakit.
“The goal is for everyone to download and forget about it,” he told the publication.
Sunde’s app will gather information from official sources and emergency services. It will then use the GPS on your phone to determine if you’re close to an incident and advise you accordingly.
“It is not enough for a small text down in the corner of the screen,” Sunde told Breakit. “I want to build something that makes the phone vibrate and sound [so] you notice it properly.”
The app isn’t live yet, and Sunde said he’s working on cementing as many partnerships as possible.
The app is named “Hesa Fredrik”, after Sweden’s existing emergency warning system. That system involves thousands of sirens across Sweden, which go off in the event of an emergency. Swedish citizens also get alerts via TV, radio, and text message.
According to Sunde, though, the system isn’t always that helpful.
During a recent wild fire in Sweden, he said it took “several days” before everyone in the area received the warning texts. “I thought that was very bad,” he said, adding the solution was easy to build. He said most people don’t actually know what to do when the Hesa Fredrik sirens go off.
Users will also be able to add extra information in the app about themselves. For example, if you tell it you’re a doctor, the app will ping you in the event of a nearby emergency in case you can help.
According to Breakit, Sunde is building the app with his former colleagues from Flattr, the micropayments system he recently sold to German adblocking firm Eyeo. It will launch within the next month, and will be available for free.