...What if you could keep a witness in your pocket? This is the concept behind Witness, winner of the grand prize at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt NY Hackathon, which took place earlier this month. The Hackathon is an annual event in which hundreds of coders and developers have a weekend to build apps from scratch. Other winners ranged from a social media app for transgender people to an app which senses whether you’ve left the stove on.
Inspired by the use of cell phone recordings of recent cases of police brutality to build legal cases against the perpetrators, developer Marinos Bernitsas wanted to create an app so that victims of abuse would not have to rely on the hope that someone else was able to catch the attack on video. He calls it a “panic button for the smartphone age.”