Thursday, 25 Oct, 2007 Technology

New Cell Phone Application to Discourage Gropers


A new phone application designed to discourage gropers traveling by commuter trains has become really popular among Japanese women.

Women are flashing on their mobile phones bold-print warning messages - 'Did you grope me? Groping is a crime! Let's head to the police?' - and show these messages to their offenders. It is necessary to press an 'Anger' icon in the program to switch to the next threat. The messages are sounded by a warning chime.

'Anti-Groping Appli' was introduced by games developer Takahashi two years ago, but has only recently become so popular. The phone tool has reached No. 7 in Top-10 Mobile Phone Applications list revealed this week by Spicy Soft web-based publisher.

Women can download the anti-groping application for free on their web-enabled cell phones. It helps offended ladies to scare away gropers with minimum hassle and attracting little attention of everyone around.

Japanese women confess they have downloaded the application mainly as a joke, still they are sure it could turn out to be a lifesaver when they have to face some cheeky groper.

More users have recently discovered Takahashi's 'Anti-Groping Appli' after the introduction of a series of new applications this year, including a popular horoscope, number game, and blogging program.

The number of new games and applications offerings for cell phones has grown considerably in Japan. Web research company Yahoo Value Insight published a survey stating that 61 percent of mobile phone owners in Japan use applications almost every day.

According to data provided by Tokyo Metropolitan Police, 1,853 men were arrested for groping on commuter trains in Tokyo in 2005. Experts are sure that the incidence of harassment among train commuters is much higher today, but women often feel embarrassed to report it.

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