Undoubtedly coming after the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370, a startup is attempting to give an extra tool for passengers and their relatives alike in the unlikely case the worst would happen.
In my understanding, Flight Tracker doesn't transmit any data during the flight (as most planes don't have on-board wifi anyway) nor coordinates. It does use the FAA database to track flights, like many other apps and solutions in the market. In addition to traditional tracking, it can push periodic updates to a preset email recipient decided pre-flight by the passenger (presumably a family member or loved one).
Where the app seeks to differentiate itself is two-fold. First, if the plane is crashing, the passenger can hit an emergency feature that sends a SOS signal back to the servers of the startup. Obviously, that would require mobile coverage, not always a given on many routes (and possibly the time for the person to turn the phone back on and look for that signal).
Second, at the time of deciding who the email recipient is, the passenger-to-be can write a ‘Last Message’, a final word that the loved one would only get if the plane crashes. The commendable idea here is to offer closure to her or his relatives.
I'm not sure I understand how the app decides whether a plane has crashed or not, and how it concludes that the passenger is dead—you might not want to have your last words revealed before actually passing away.
And actually, those questions would qualify for flight MH370: was there a crash? Are the passengers dead or just missing?
An interesting effort nonetheless.
You can sign up for the beta here.