We have all seen the movies where someone puts himself in an impossibly exposed and dangerous situation, but his opponents are not able to shoot or kill him because he has a dead man’s switch for an explosive device. If he lets go of the switch, the bomb will go off.
Another variation is that some sort of compromising information will be sent to the authorities if he does not check in within a set ammount of time.
A dead man’s switch is essentially a protective measure that is typically used as insurance to make sure you remain alive, but there are other uses for such a setup.
Not all of us deal on a daily basis with people who intend to kill us, but in the event of an unforseen kidnapping a system that requires regular check-ins could release helpful information for searchers including last known location, daily schedule, or access to a tracking service.
I found a free service called DeadmanSMS that will send an email and/or SMS with a pre-specified message and recipient when a countdown hits zero. You are given a url where you can go to add days, hours, or minutes to the clock. Combined with a service like ITTT(if this, then that), the email can trigger a variety of actions or you can combine it with a gmail filter to send a different email from your own account. You could also combine it with a service like Dropbox to share critical files.
Anyone can use a dead man’s switch in a manner similar to a will. Share a master password, a personal journal, or your final wishes in the event of an unforseen emergency.
What would you use a dead man’s switch for?