Phoenix business launches safety app for travelers; here’s how it works

Phoenix-based OZZI says the app "helps you find safer travel destinations, discover safer areas to book hotels/vacation rentals, & sends you real-time alerts"
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 1:06 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- It’s time to hit the road for spring break and along the way, you may encounter unfamiliar places.

Now, a new app that was created in Phoenix is helping travelers stay safe while they’re out of town. “You go through lots of places along the way, and you don’t know those areas,” said Vince Bicicchi, co-founder of Arizona-based OZZI. “I think our coolest feature we have is our mapping feature. It’s completely automated, so if you drive through an area, it will actually send you a push notification to your phone and just say, ‘Hey, you’re in a tough area.’ If you want to learn more details, you just click through and read about it.”

The travel safety tool is years is in the making. “I started building safety apps in 2015 in response to the terrorist attacks in France, and after learning about the opportunity and how only executives in governments have access to this information, I wanted to do something more and help everybody,” said co-founder Isaiah Lopez. “Our guides can help you understand if you need a visa, what taxis are safe, and what gestures to avoid. Then when you’re ready to book, you can look at our maps to find a safer spot for your Airbnb or your hotel, and we will send you real-time alerts.”

On Your Side tested OZZI, first with an address in Phoenix. Immediately, a red zone emerged, noting crime in the area. We also checked one of the most famous sights in the world. “I just typed in the Eiffel Tower, and what I can do is I can zoom out a little bit and see that there are some neighborhoods and some areas that have extra risks,” Lopez showed us. Users can swipe through the app to check everything from security ratings to health alerts at any address. “In just one of our 200,000 sources, there are more than 500 million data points that are analyzed every single day,” Lopez said.

OZZI costs $9.99 for a seven-day membership or $14.99 per month for an annual subscription. “We’re kind of the quiet watcher in the pocket that’s doing the worrying for you. We’ll let you know when to worry,” Bicicchi said. “But for the most part, places are pretty safe.”