Inspiration: All over the United States, students on college campuses need to be made aware of suspicious activities going on around them in order to stay safe. Statistics for crimes committed in college communities in the United States today are abhorrent. Lack of awareness about the people we care about and the places we frequent on campus keeps us at risk. Live police audios are open to the public, and we need to channel these resources into keeping our youth safe.
What it does: College students can enter names of people, dorms, and places that matter to them, and if those words are mentioned in police communication, they are alerted by email and sent the transcripts of the police audio. This way, they are made aware of the situations happening near their places of interest, or that concern the people they care about. They can also choose how long they want to monitor the audios for.
How we built it: We utilized Flask to develop the web application using Python. We used the system audio in combination with a software tool to capture and record the streaming audio data. Google's Cloud Platform Speech API was used to transcribe this audio stream into text. We then compared the transcription with the user's phrases of interest to check whether they appeared in police communication. If a phrase matches, our program sends the user an email with the section of the police transcription relevant to the phrase.
Challenges we ran into: Developing on multiple different operating systems resulted in cross-compatibility issues, and learning to work with Flask for the first time were the biggest challenges. In addition, two of our members are cross-disciplinary and newcomers to computer science, and this was the first Hackathon experience for another.
Accomplishments that we're proud of: Creating a working product that we can actually use! The task seemed daunting at first, but it was amazing how we were able to utilize our individual strengths and put the project together.
What we learned: It was super cool to be able to start and plan a project completely from scratch! In contrast to homework assignments that have less room for creativity. We learned about many new technologies and gained hands-on experience working with software. Also, this experience taught us much about how to work well on a team, which is invaluable for wherever our futures take us.
What's next for CampusEar: It would be awesome if we could increase the personalization of our product to enhance the user experience. We were primarily focused on functionality, but user interface is equally crucial to a successful product.