A kindergarten in central Israel during a rocket alarm in 2014
A kindergarten in central Israel during a rocket alarm in 2014

At the age of 15, Israeli teen Nir Vaknin and a second developer created an app that gives Android users rocket alerts in real time.

By Benjamin Brown, TPS UnitedWithIsrael.org

Featured photo by Siven Besa, IDF

A new Israeli app that works on devices using the Android operating system allows the users of streaming services to receive on-screen alerts on their screen in real-time.

Nir Vaknin, a 15-year-old Sderot resident, is one of the two developers behind the app. He told Israeli news site Mako that when using streaming devices, he usually received rocket alarms 30 seconds too late. Israelis in Sderot only have an average of 15 seconds from the moment the alarm sounds until rockets can crash into their community. As a result, delays in rocket alerts make the difference between life and death.

Vaknin explained that the app is also crucial in situations in which people would not be able to hear the alarms from outside due to loud music or large gatherings.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Vaknin and his developer Itai Goli, a resident of Ness Ziona, spent several months developing the app, receiving assistance from the IDF’s Home Front Command.

While Home Front Command urges Israelis to use its official app, it stated that new apps could serve as potential additions, helping keep Israelis safe.

Unlike the Home Front Command’s TV alerts, the new app can be programmed to display alerts only for specific cities or regions.

The young tech pioneers are currently in talks with the Transportation Ministry and the National Road Safety Authority, hoping to have their app installed on buses to alert drivers should they enter an area under rocket fire, Vaknin told Mako.

He described living under the constant threat of rocket fire as an “unbearable reality,” but added, “I am not a military man, nor the chief of staff and of course I am not the prime minister. I cannot present a solution, so I made an app to better deal with the situation.
“Who wouldn’t want to know that what they’re doing helps save lives?” the 15-year-old concluded.

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