When the app challenge started there were thousands of ideas that could be used. We knew that we wanted an app to help people in the world. We determined that we can do more with Guardian Defense, also the Google Play does not have a lot of apps for safety. As teenagers we have experienced many dangers and sorrow. We have seen the many school shootings that have happened in the past and the present. We have seen what the fear of shootings have caused and we want to help. We want students to have something that informs them on what to do in case of an offender. Our partnership specifically lives in Las Vegas, once the Las Vegas shooting happened the tone was changed for this app. It was inspiring to see Facebook create the webpage for people to post that they were safe, this was what gave us the idea for the notify page on our app. It is not just the recent shootings that have inspired us it was also the harsh California fires. After seeing on the news the destruction and deaths caused by the fire, it strengthened our resolve to create this safety app. Many people when they see these events on the news they do not relate it to themselves, we still want them to be prepared.

What it does

  • It gives information on dangerous situations
  • Sends a message to pre-set telephone numbers of loved ones that you are safe
  • Map feature shows your location on a map in relation to nearest police stations, hospitals, fire stations and more
  • Call 911 with one simple click
  • Scare away intruders/aggressors by activating the built-in police siren or car alarm
  • How we built it

    To create this app we used the MIT-app-inventor. This website allows us to design the how the app looks on devices. To record the title of each page, and the information regarding each situation we used labels to hold the written text. The designer aspect of the app inventor allows us to put in buttons to move from each screen and back. We also installed buttons that allows you to call 911, and to set off a police siren and car alarm. For the coding of our apps we used the blocks function of the MIT-app-inventor website. For each back button, we have a control that when each button is pushed it sets the screen to the designated page. The buttons on the front page we a bit trickier. For the button that calls 911 we have it programmed so when it is clicked it calls PhoneCall1 which is preset to 911. For the buttons that set off a police siren and a car alarm we set global variables for each that shows that they are on when they equal 0. Then we used a logic if and else statement to say that when the global variables are set to 0 and the button is pushed the sound effect will go off and the value of each variable will change to one. This means that when the button is pushed again the value for each variable is one making the code follow the else statement which stops the sound effect. For the notification page, we wanted to have it so the user puts in specific phone numbers and those numbers are used to send a message saying “I’m safe”. In the code, we programmed the button when pushed to text the numbers set by the user. Then to save the contacts we created a tiny database to store the numbers once the save contacts button was clicked. Lastly, we have the map page here we have a location sensor that once the page is opened and the device has its location on the latitude and longitude of where you are is recorded. Those numbers are then put on the page under your latitude and longitude. We also have a recenter button that once pressed will bring the map to your location.

    Challenges we ran into

    When creating our app the first problem we came to was on deciding what theme we wanted to do. Each partner had an idea that they favored and were discussing the benefits of every suggestion. In the end, we came together and decided that Guardian Defense was the best app to design. A superficial challenge we had was deciding on the background color for our app. We knew that we wanted a sophisticated and calming background for our users. We got together and spent time researching different backgrounds, we had a bit of an spat deciding between two different backgrounds. After weighing the pros and cons of each background we decided on a calming green ombre for the background. A major problem that was presented was getting the map to work right. We have never worked with a map on this system so it was a learning experience for us. To solve this problem we asked for advice from our advisors and got help from several videos depicting different uses of the map. The map was not localizing the users location, it was bringing you to random places on the map. Getting the map to work properly was filled with trial and error, however in the end the map challenged was solved.

    Accomplishments that we're proud of

    As described in the challenges section the map was a hard part. Once we got the map to localize your location and work with the recenter button it was a big accomplishment. We have not used this system before so it was a big achievement when we understood the programming. We related it to code styles that we were taught in class and once we found similar programs like if statements and setting screens with each button it went a lot easier. We had a lot of fun working with each other and the MIT-app-inventor to create Guardian Defense. We felt amazing after completing the code for the app and seeing it in action. It showed us that we can use technology to have an impact on the world with just one app.

    What we learned

    This whole app was a learning experience for us, we had to learn a whole new program. There were tutorials from the MIT-app-inventor website that taught you how to put in sound and customize the screen. We learned the code to create a map that pinpoints your location. We also learned that we can use databases to save information put into the app. We had to dismiss the old code system we used to get this new system down pat. While we were researching the facts about the dangerous situations we found more detail on what to do. We each had a certain amount of information about these threatening settings. In the end of this experience, we discovered what to do to keep ourselves and other people around us safe. A more social aspect was that we learned to work better as partners. When we started this app we had a bit of trouble splitting up the work and teaching each other the new code. However, as the app progressed so did our partnership, we started to rely more on each other and their opinions.

    What's next for Guardian Defense

    When brainstorming ideas for the app, we had a lot of different ideas to use for Guardian defense. When finalizing our plan for the app we had to cut down on some of the ideas to complete the app on time, and so we can focus on the aspects we really needed. So as our app gains popularity we want to add more features to the app. We would love to add more dangerous situations to the guides page. There are more features to include as well, an idea we have is a posting site for people to post if there was a fire or shooting nearby so others are informed. Since there are still a lot of dangerous environments we would love to inform more people about what to do. Even if they do not use the app we still want people to be informed so they can stay safe.

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