Listening to the IBM speakers on the natural disasters touched us, and we felt that developing an application to assist those impacted by disasters, and the brave souls that put others before themselves to assist in rescue efforts, is the least that we could do.
What it does
Our app is designed for victims of natural disasters. It provides an easy way to navigate to nearby shelters. If they are unable to make it to a shelter for any reason, it will put a GPS beacon on their location that is sent to nearby rescue workers.
How we built it
We wrote the frontend in Android Studio, with native Java for some backend functions. We employed Firebase to handle the data management and push notifications. We also made use of several APIs such as the Google Maps API and Speech-to-Text.
Challenges we ran into
Many of our challenges stemmed from feature creep, as our entire team had many plans and ideas that we wanted to implement on our app. The pressure of time and the need to rapidly learn and retain new information on various technologies whilst maintaining a good UX was something that our team struggled with as well.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The voice recognition that would allow an incapacitated user to request help without being able to physically touch their phone, the Firebase integration that allows for push notifications to rescue workers, and the knowledge that we gained throughout the development of our project.
What we learned
Android Studio, handling merge conflicts in git, and how to work with APIs.
What's next for Big Red Disaster
We hope to add additional functionality for volunteers and implement tools that allow people to find their loved ones.