News Smart & Connected Life New App Fetches Bodyguard-on-Demand Bond, James Bond? by Tech News Reporter Sascha Brodsky is a freelance journalist based in New York City. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications. our editorial process Sascha Brodsky Published November 10, 2020 09:11AM EST Smart & Connected Life Phones Internet & Security Computers Smart & Connected Life Home Theater Software & Apps Social Media Streaming Gaming View More Tweet Share Email Key Takeaways A new app called Bond allows users to order a bodyguard on demand. Users can specify whether they want an armed or unarmed bodyguard. Bond is entering a small but growing market for personal security apps. Tom Merton / Getty Images If hailing an Uber or ordering groceries online gets too mundane, a new app lets users summon a trained bodyguard with the tap of an icon. The app, called Bond, is coming to market at a time when the world seems fraught and some crime rates are rising. The cost is $30 for 30 minutes. "The Bond platform is designed for the large and growing number of situations ordinary people find themselves in—walking alone at night, getting the car in a dark parking garage, encountering strangers with no one around, worrying about unsupervised children," Doron Kempel, founder and CEO of Bond said in an email interview. The New York-based company employs call center workers who can talk with users with text, video or audio. If users feel they are in danger, they can request through the app that they be tracked, monitored by video, or sent a car service or a bodyguard. A Gaping Hole in the Market? Doron, a former Israeli special forces soldier, founded the company after finding there was nothing like it on the market. "Specifically, unlike other security apps, Bond gives people peace of mind through a combination of technological innovation, and human operational excellence and expertise—real people on demand and rapid response times that make them feel safer," he said. For those who know in advance they might be getting in a sticky situation, bodyguards can also be reserved through the company’s website. If you know the situation will get even more sticky, you can also check yes in the box that asks "Should your bodyguard be armed?" The bodyguards dispatched by Bond are former Secret Service agents, police officers, members of the military and other "trained and vetted security professionals, and can be either armed or unarmed." Doron said. The company’s command center coordinates and oversees their assignments, he added. Doron claims that his company has dealt with 40,000 "cases (many of them ordering bodyguards), and we're predicting that number will increase." Not Just for Bodyguards You don’t have to need a gun-wielding guard to take advantage of the service. "Bond members can request a bodyguard to arrive and accompany them in situations such as securely transporting family members; escorting a member to an event or on a night out with friends; securing an event or venue; or meeting a member upon arrival in a new city," Doron said. Roberts Daly / Getty Images Bond is a new entrant to a burgeoning gig economy. "On-demand everything is a growing trend that has really taken off in the past few months, and it only makes sense that it’s being applied to bodyguard services too," Diana Goodwin, Founder & CEO at MarketBox, a software company focused on mobile solutions, said in an email interview. "Customers have become accustomed to getting what they want, when they want, at the push of a button." Bond is also competing in a small but growing market for personal security apps. There’s Citizen, launched in 2016, which allows users to safety send alerts to police and monitor local crime reports. Also available is NextDoor, a social media platform that can be used to report crime. Amazon’s Neighbors app allows users to "get real-time crime and safety alerts from your neighbors and public safety agencies. Always know when and where things are happening in your area, and share updates to keep you and your community informed," according to its website. Personal security apps have faced criticism, however. "The user gets the ability to use their own moral compass to figure out what’s suspicious and what is worthy of being posted and shot out to the world," said Matthew Guariglia, a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "A lot of times it’s based on pretty insidious racial biases about who belongs and who doesn’t belong, and who’s suspicious and who’s not suspicious." Hiring your own personal James Bond is now possible. Just make sure he doesn’t have a license to kill.