Why BackSafe?

Like it or not, the world is becoming an increasingly more dangerous place to live in. We're bombarded with stories every day on television, radio, newspapers, and the internet about bone-chilling incidents that happen to everyday people, sometimes in unlikely places. While at the same time people are often spending more time with their phones and less with their family. You can't help but to think: What if I'm next? What it happens to me?

We want to change all that. What if we can choose to work on projects that help save lives, decrease reaction times in emergencies, help get people the care they need and so much more. BackSafe aims to empower everyday people to do the things they love without fear with a simple time-based tracking system. If you aren't home from your outing by a set time that you pick, a personalized security system kicks in, and the people most important to you are notified immediately (within reason) via text and email. It adds security without being constrictive and helps keep people connected.

We utilize everyday technology like Facebook, text messages, and emails to keep other people informed while maintaining your own sense of privacy. This kind of reassurance is invaluable for anyone, and now, available to everyone - regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality, or socioeconomic status. No longer do you need to feel insecure or afraid: rest assured that we have your back.

On a more personal note, I (Tai) dreamed up the idea not only because its economically viable, and has real world impact, but because I believe (free - cheap) applications can help reduce social inequalities and actually make a difference. I came up with the idea during Harvard's WeCode but due weather problems and limited time we were unable to get anything more than a static web page. I personally believe in the future of a product like this and wanted to bring it to Hack The North because it was something I was personally passionate about building. So we scrapped the past, and built something new for the future with an entirely new team, which was an amazing experience. Especially in terms of how the product grew and developed from the new insight.

What we did: We were perhaps a bit too ambitious. We were hoping to implement a web app that integrated with email and sms along with Facebook for authentication as well as a mobile ios app. We implemented a website, Facebook auth, tried new technology like Parse, Twilio, and Sendgrid successfully but we also had tons of fun trying out all of the great things here at Hack The North.

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