I have been hyper-sensitive about my proximity to others, while I have seen some people completely oblivious. As we move forward in this COVID-19 world, neither condition is sustainable. I decided to make a tool to help the sensitive assess risk, and to alert the oblivious if their risk gets too high. Covidity is a tool for all to use in any environment where people are in proximity.
What it does
Covidity first assesses your risk of transmitting COVID-19. It automatically detects a nearby Brother QL-820NWB printer, and prints a badge for you. That badge has a visual indication of your transmission risk. Other people can see your transmission risk, and assess for themselves how comfortable they feel being in your vicinity.
The Covidity app also works in the background, both sending out your transmission risk and assessing how much risk you're accumulating from others. Risk values are scaled by distance. You can adjust an alarm to alert you if your accumulated risk exceeds a set threshold.
How I built it
I made an iOS app in Swift that implements the Covidity service. It uses the Brother SDK to automatically connect to a QL-820NWB printer in the area. The app generates your badge from the info you enter and prints it on the QL-820NWB printer.
The app also generates an iBeacon (Bluetooth BLE) signal with your transmission risk. It listens for the iBeacon signals from other phones to accumulate your risk over time. The app can run in the background. When your accumulated risk exceeds a level you set, the app generates an alarm to alert you of the condition.
Challenges I ran into
I was completely new to the Brother SDK and products, so there was a lot to learn in how to integrate the technology and create appropriate content for printing. It took quite a while to calibrate risk accumulation based on iBeacon signal strength.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
The app works better than I expected. It automatically connects to the printer, and the badge printout looks great. The beacon risk accumulation seems very effective.
What I learned
I learned a lot about connecting and printing with the Brother SDK.
What's next for Covidity
The app needs to be ported to Android. When people feel comfortable enough to gather in small groups, the app can be field tested and further calibrated. After that I'd look to deploy to small events.