Inspiration

In lieu of the recent increase in crimes around student housing at Berkeley and the surprising election result, which has led to many racial attacks on minorities, we wanted to find a solution for students who travel alone and want to talk with someone. BearWalk, which exists at UC Berkeley, is sometimes slow at responding leading to very long wait times, so we created bSafe, a safer and faster alternative for students to walk with others.

Process

We built two separate components for this application: a web API that manages the backend and matches students to others based on their origins and destinations and an Android app, with which students can request walking partners. The web API is hosted at http://bsafe.azurewebsites.net.

We also created an audio recorder and an emergency call and text in case of incidents.

Algorithms

We match students based on their origins and destinations. First, we filter students based on the distances of their origins and destinations. We then find the best match by minimizing the area between the two "walking" vectors of the current student and other students.

Future

We intend this app to be more comprehensive for students. We want to create a risk map showing all recent crimes, so that students will know which areas to avoid. After requesting a partner, students should also be able to see in real-time where their walking partners are.

Of course, we are well-aware of potential exploits of this app. Therefore, we want to create a rating system of walkers, so that students are aware of who their partners are.

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