This new app could revolutionise the way emergency services operate.

As technology continues to march further forward into new and undiscovered territory, a new app has been gaining attention for re-inventing something that has been in use for centuries.

The app in question is What3Words which has been praised for its unique location system which has the potential to completely revolutionise the way people in distress can call for help.

But just how does the What3Words app work and could it prove to be a life-saver if everyone adopted the app?

How does What3Words work?

What3Words works by mapping out the entire globe and putting it all into individual 3m x 3m spaces and giving each space three words to identify it by.

As well as giving you a super-accurate way of plotting a location, it could prove revolutionary for the emergency services.

Take this writer’s old university accommodation, for example, the three-word location for that is unit.spins.dinner.

Now, let’s say that my university accommodation was being broken into and I didn’t quite know the address for whatever reason, I could phone the police and give the call handler my three-word location and they could send officers to the exact scene of the crime. It’s genius!


According to the developers of the app, What3Words has already been put into use by a number of police forces across the UK after clearly seeing the benefit of the system which has already been used to save lives.

Sam Shepherd, the Command and Control System Manager for the Avon and Summerset Police Force told the What3Words website that: “a vehicle carrying a mother and young child was run off the road in a rural area, the victim was unable to describe where she was so we used What3Words to get her to share her location and effectively deployed resources to the scene.”

It’s a brilliant idea that could be used for anything from rural road traffic collisions to hikers getting into difficulties while walking in the countryside.

Be responsible

It goes without saying that you should always be aware of wasting police time so we wouldn’t recommend just phoning the police to see if this system works unless you’re in a real emergency. 

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