A teen from a city in southern Israel that has been repeatedly hit by Palestinian rockets developed the idea for an innovative application that alerts users whenever missiles are fired from Gaza.
Bar's free app, which takes its name from Israel's missile attack warnings, was developed by volunteer Kobi Snir, according to the report. Notifications in Hebrew are sent to iPhone users every time an air raid warning goes out across the government's public safety network. The app can also tell users where the nearest shelter is, according to RT.com.
Israel has a sophisticated warning system in place with its Iron Dome anti-missile defense system and air raid sirens, but citizens working indoors don't always hear the warnings, according to CNN's Fred Pleitgen. The app gives some people a little more time to get to shelter. When a Color Red notification is detected, the app sounds an alert and displays the number of seconds since the missile warning siren, the Times reports.
Colonel Avital Leibovich said that some citizens have as little as 15 seconds to find shelter, so any mobile device that can help is a good solution, according to the CNN report.
This is not the fist time Israel's brain trust has been applied to the defense industry. In the 2009 book "Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle," authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer claim that "adversity of all kinds, such as being under attack, small, isolated, and lacking resources, have forced Israelis to be resourceful, to do more with less, to innovate, and to be global from day one."
Much of Israel’s tech economy, considered second only to Silicon Valley's, "is spurred by the demands of its military and related security industries," The Christian Science Monitor reports.
A similar app called Secure Spaces was developed by the Ashdod Municipality for both iPhone and Android platforms. The app lists protected spaces in specific areas and uses the device’s GPS chip and Google Maps to determine the location of the closest protected space, as determined by the Home Front Command, according to The Times of Israel.