What3words divides the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3m x 3m, and assigns three random words to each square, helping users find their location with an accuracy of just 10 feet. Company Founder Chris Sheldrick explained: "I was speaking to a mathematician and we found there were enough combinations of three words for every location in the world."
Available in 36 languages on both iOS and Android, the free app works without an internet connection. And as of September 2019, already 59 emergency services in the UK are using the app to help coordinate their response directly to the exact location where help is needed.
Global assistance company Traveller Assist is also using the app in its emergency response operations, including, most recently, a capsized yacht in the Caribbean, a diving accident in the Maldives, a terrorist attack in Somalia, a road traffic accident in Kenya and to pinpoint the exact pick-up point for helicopter evacuations in Haiti during violent protests and in the Bahamas before Hurricane Dorian hit.
Danny Kaine, Head of Assistance at Traveller Assist and former British Army soldier, said: “When travellers call us, they are often desperately sick, injured, scared and disorientated. What3words has enabled our emergency call centre staff to locate travellers quicker and easier, saving time in the ‘golden hour’ of medical treatment.”
“Today people nearly always have their phone on them, and we need to use the tools like that, at our disposal to improve safety and potentially save lives,” said Sheldrick. “By using what3words, three dictionary words could mean the all-important few minutes between a safe recovery and something much worse.”