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Apps for Your Personal Safety

While it’s not a topic that we often want to think about, violent crimes and attacks happen every day throughout America.  This month, Rocketeer LB Herbert shared her six years of martial arts experience by teaching a basic self-defense class at Bottle Rocket.  LB helped prepare us in case a situation arises where we need to protect ourselves. 

Since not everyone can attend a self-defense class, we thought we’d share some mobile apps (from other developers) that may help victims call for help and stay safe.

                                  

Even if you are just out for a walk or run, the free Watch Over Me app will make sure that someone knows where you are.  The app leverages the GPS in the phone to track your location during a set period.  If you don’t check in safely at the end of the timeframe, set emergency contacts are notified immediately.  If you feel unsafe, shake your phone to trigger an alert along with turning on the phone’s camera to record what is happening.

A similar app is the free BSafe app, which enables you to set up a “social safety network.”  Besides the location monitoring and check-in features, BSafe also provides the ability to tell individuals in your network where you are at that moment or sound a siren.  You can also make a “fake call” to yourself, simulating a phone call from a selected contact – its even handy for getting yourself out of a bad date! 

If you aren’t sure when you will be walking in an unsafe situation or can't remember to turn on a safety tracking app, the $1.99 app SafeTrek can be used in times when feeling unsafe.  Opening the app and holding down on the safe button while walking, passively connects to the police.  Once upon reaching safety, you then release the safe button and enter a 4-digit pin code.  If releasing the safe button and not entering the pin code, the police are then notified of your location (from phone’s GPS), your name and that there is an emergency. 

If you need to alert those around you that you need help, the free My Panic Alarm sounds an instant alarm.  Whether it’s a potential illness or violence, just tap an icon to sound a loud alarm, flash bright colors and a “Please Help” message.

While out at night or in an unfamiliar territory, keep your mobile phone with these apps readily available and keep alert!

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Bottle Rocket Kicks Off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Today Rocketeers wore pink to show their support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM).  When gathering for a photo, Rocketeers shared the stories of love ones who have been impacted by breast cancer.  It was hard to find someone in the group not touched by this disease.

 Bottle Rocket Breast Cancer Awareness

Over the next few months, Rocketeers across the organization will continue to show their support by participating in several events:

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Dallas on October 18

The “Rocketeers for the Cure” will be walking to honor loved ones and to raise funds.  To learn more about the team, visit: http://dallas.info-komen.org/goto/bottlerocket

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Dallas from November 7 – 9

This “Rocketeers for the Cure” team have been training for months to prepare for the 60-mile walk over 3 days across the DFW area.  The 3-Day requires much commitment and passion for the cause – and that’s exactly what our Rocketeers are bringing!  To learn more about the team, visit http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2014/DallasFortWorthEvent2014?pg=team&fr_id=1861&team_id=240621 

Later in the month, we will continue to share apps and initiatives for NBCAM. 

So put on your pink and raise awareness for breast cancer!

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Starwood Hotels Showcased in Apple's Keynote Announcing iPhone 6, Apple Pay and Apple Watch

We were thrilled to see our partners, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, featured in the most recent Keynote from Apple. If you missed the news, Starwood showed off the ability to skip the check in line and even skip picking up a key. The Apple Watch can be used to open your hotel room door. How cool is that? Once again, Starwood demonstrates they are the most innovated and forward-thinking global hotel company.

If you missed the keynote, you can find it here...

 

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Rocketeers support The Vital Ground Foundation

This month, Rocketeers are supporting, the mission of The Vital Ground Foundation, which is to protect and restore North America’s grizzly bear populations by conserving wildlife habitat.

Photo credit: John Hechtel via VitalGround.org

Working cooperatively with landowners, local communities, and state and federal agencies, Vital Ground addresses the issue of habitat fragmentation by protecting crucial lands for the benefit of grizzly bears and other wide-ranging wildlife.

Rocketeer Stefanie Duke chose this organization and said, “I chose Vital Ground because I love conservation. The bear that appeared in Legends of the Fall, was a favorite of mine.  He inspired me to love bears more and to want to help preserve their native habitat. And someday, my dream is to visit Vital Ground.” 

Vital Ground has helped protect and enhance nearly 600,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, and British Columbia. 

For more information, visit VitalGround.org

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Bottle Rocket Gets in the VR Game Early with a New Original Game for Samsung’s Gear VR

Rocketeers from our Thruster gaming division are set to provide a sneak peek of its under-development virtual reality game Saturday, September 6 at the 2nd Annual Big(D)esign Conference in Addison. 

To be called Nyx, the fast-paced arcade shooter was designed from the ground up for the new mobile VR platform, the Samsung Gear VR, which was jointly introduced by Samsung and Oculus earlier this week at IFA in Berlin, the show often described as “a virtual cornucopia of consumer tech.”  The Thruster team worked closely with Samsung and Oculus on early prototypes of the device, code-named “Project Moonlight,” to explore optimizations for the game.

Bottle Rocket Virtual Reality Game Nyx

Nyx utilizes the new mobility-driven platform to take players on a shoot-em-up thrill ride, which includes targeting via head mounted motion controls that give the game a very natural feel.

“The real joy in these types of games is to move past just surviving and start trying to achieve bigger and better scores” said Brian Cope, who is leading the game design for Nyx. “Learning patterns and finding techniques to incrementally ratchet up your score has been a core aspect of the arcade shooter genre.” 

Matt Johnson, EVP & GM of Thruster, said “Nyx has been an exciting opportunity for us to demonstrate the power of VR immersion to our customers.  We have been working on VR approaches with several large brands that are looking to teach and inform their customers in exciting new ways.  The Samsung Gear VR has been instrumental in helping us achieve this goal." Thruster titled its conference session, “The New Normal of Virtual Reality.”

The Gear VR’s initial release is an ‘Innovator Edition’. It’s an early-access, beta-version of the device for developers and enthusiasts (like Bottle Rocket).  You can learn more about the Gear VR Innovator Edition here

For information about Big (D)esign visit: http://bigdesignevents.com.    

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Judy Johnson, director of product innovation for Dallas-based app developer Bottle Rocket, thinks a lot of people are approaching the idea of the second screen completely wrong.

“Up until now, [second screen] has been mobile,” she said Oct. 20, speaking during a second screen panel at the Digital Hollywood conference. “Now, we’re seeing any screen can be the second screen.”

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