Optus has launched a new feature called Sidekick which help customers to feel safer and reassured when they are making their way home, out on a walk by themselves or just at home on their own.
Optus Sidekick allows customers to choose up to three close and most trusted contacts to check in on them whether they’re home alone, walking alone or making their way home on their own.
Here’s how it works. You select your three contacts, you set a timer to cover the amount of time for your walk, your commute home or anything else you want – and if you don’t stop this timer before it runs out your contacts will receive a notification.
Users can cancel the timer at any time when they’re feeling comfortable or when you get a reminder to stop it.
“Optus Sidekick was initiated as a passion project by our team who, from experience, research and news stories, realised that a certain sense of apprehension when out and about alone wasn’t uncommon and we wanted to give our customers just a little more peace of mind,” says Katie Brodie, Optus Director, Digital AI.
“Many of us can identify with that feeling of wanting someone to check in with us in a little while to make sure we are okay, even if we can’t exactly pinpoint why we feel that way.
“It may feel awkward to ask someone for that extra assurance.
“Optus Sidekick can help you prearrange a time when Optus will let the people you care about know you want them to check in on you, and only gets in touch if that time arises.
“We have also discovered that it’s not just women who may want to use Optus Sidekick, but also kids walking home from school, people out for a late-night walk, and even an elderly neighbour who walks to the store alone.”
Customers can set up the Optus Sidekick with a simple tap in their My Optus App.
They can enter the details of up to three of their closest contacts and set a timer for when they will check in.
Then Optus Sidekick will communicate with those trusted contacts via a text if the Optus Sidekick user has not checked-in by the chosen time and suggest they get in touch to check up on them.
“Whether customers are home alone or when we are eventually all out and about again, Optus Sidekick puts the control of digital innovation into the hands of customers, right where Optus believes it should be,” says Clive Dicken, Optus Vice President TV Content and Product Development.
“I am incredibly proud of our team who has come together to make a difference to our customers in the moments that matter, and who took on this project over and above their usual workload.
“It’s a testament to the power of yes that our amazing people are empowered to innovate.”
Optus Sidekick will initially be offered as a beta trial on iOS devices to get customer and community feedback.
This is part of the Optus Living Network which was launched in May and is a collection of on-demand network features to empower and assist Optus customers.
These include Unlimited Data Day, Donate Your Data, Optus Call Translate, Optus Pause, Optus Wi-Fi Secure, Game Path, and now Optus Sidekick.