The intro to Dead Prez’s video for their song, “Hell Yeah” shows a suburban White family taking a wrong turn into the hood and getting carjacked. Though the video is fictitious and not based on anything in particular, White folks clearly have a fear of ending up harmed in unsavory territory while out of town. This fear may be what caused Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington to create SketchFactor, mobile navigation app helping people avoid “sketchy” neighborhoods during travel.
McGuire’s reason for contacting Herrington, her electrical engineer partner, was her experience having to navigate largely Black neighborhoods in Washington, DC while working for a nonprofit. Sketchfactor will be fueled by crowdsourced information about certain areas. The a ppm is already a finalist in a competition with a $20,000 prize.
The creators claim that the app is not racist. Their blog prominently states, “Who we’re not: racists, bigots, sexists. Any discriminatory posts will be deleted.” Sketchfactor is due to be released on Friday.
The full story can be found here.