Swiss Army knives and pocket knives were a unique life saving invention in the 1900s (created 1987), as different attachments were stored inside the handle of the knife through a pivot point mechanism. The most common tools featured are, in addition to the main blade, a smaller second blade, tweezers, toothpick, corkscrew, can opener, bottle opener, slotted/flat-head screwdriver(s), phillips-head screwdriver, nail file, scissors, saw, file, hook, magnifying glass, ballpoint pen, fish scaler, hex wrench w/bits, pliers, and a key chain.
These attachments provided the tools needed to stay alive in any conditions. One could create a fire, scale a fish, open canned goods (if available) and basically perform any necessary task to stay alive for a short period of time.
Smartphones such as the more advanced Blackberries, iPhones and Androids have the tools needed to survive in any condition in the new decade. Applications can be downloaded onto the cell phone for almost any need or desire and can also be used (not downloaded) in areas where there is no signal or no available internet.
Flashlight – There are a plethora of flashlight applications for your smartphone. If you are caught in the forest and need light, or need a little extra illumination during the walk to your seat at the movie theatre, a flashlight on your smartphone is much more useful than using the light from your regular phone.
SOS/ Morse Code Flasher – Some flashlight applications have an “SOS” or help setting, where you can actually send out SOS signals when in danger. Although it may not be seen as well as a fire, it still works and is a handy tool to keep on your phone.
Pocket First Aid – A great application for emergencies is a first aid application such as “Pocket First Aid.” Although it may seem a little unwise to check on your phone before performing the Heimlich Manoeuvre, it is helpful for people who do not know how to prevent shock or help a person in the event of a heart attack.
iDistress – An application for iPhone, I distress sends an SMS (text message) and email to three contacts simultaneously along with the users coordinates (down to the street number) for added response time. It dials a pre-selected number, in order to avoid the need to find the contact in the address book. Similar applications can be downloaded for Blackberry and Android.
Emergency Radio – An emergency radio can be downloaded to your smartphone, as is designed to act as a Police, Fire, EMS, ATC, Weather, Railroad, and Marine Scanner. Very helpful if there is no power near you.
Magnifying Glass – Magnifying glass applications are now available for download for almost all smartphones! Very important if you lose your glasses somewhere and need to read a sign or signal.
Clock – For people who are stuck in the woods or are without power, the clock on the smartphone will tell you not only what time it is, but what time zone as well. In addition, it will offer the time in multiple areas if needed.
Whistle – If you are in the woods and stuck somewhere, or are very lost, save your energy and use the whistle application for smartphone.
Language Translator – In case you are stuck in an emergency in a foreign country, or get VERY lost in your own, the language translator for smartphones will allow you to communicate with people in other languages. Although most applications do not take into consideration slang or most idioms, it still allows basic communication.
While batter life may run out, Blackberry and Android users can purchase additional batteries and use them in the event of an emergency.
Although the smartphone will never be able to replace the actual knife or tools of a Swiss Army knife, the smartphone can be a lifesaving tool in the event of an emergency.