Seattle developers create app to save lives of lost hikers

SEATTLE - Some local app developers hope their newest creation will help save the lives of hikers lost in the mountains.

One quick download on your iPhone can make sure you return from an outing on time, through a new app called "Bugle."

The deadly avalanches on Snoqualmie Pass last weekend show how fast someone can disappear during a quick trip to the mountains. And when disaster strikes, letting someone know you're in trouble - fast - can mean the difference between life and death.

Now a Seattle startup says it's making trips into the great outdoors safer with its free Bugle app, which is available for Apple devices on iTunes.

The app works by allowing you to enter your outdoor activity details and select your emergency contacts. As long as you check in on time, nothing happens. But if you don't make it back on time, Bugle automatically sends alerts to your emergency contacts.

So even on a quick jog, someone has your back.

"We just wanted a good, reliable solution that was something better than a note on a refrigerator, but not quite as burdensome or as expensive as like a GPS-enabled notification device," says developer Steve Grind.

The local developers worked with King County Search and Rescue on the design. And because your information is stored in the cloud, no matter what happens, the distress call will go out.

"You don't have to carry your phone with you," says Grind. "It doesn't rely on the network. You could drop your phone in a lake, and it would still work."

So even if you can't call for help - someone will,