Healthy Queues for Communities Impacted by COVID-19

Enhance and improve Awareness and Behaviour of citizens who need to wait in Queues and lines. Leverage virtual geo-fences and SMS technologies to enable folks to be socially distant when needing to access community spaces like parks, wait in food bank lines and fulfilling civic duties like voting.

TODO: Add URL and demo login details.

Inspiration:

Daily news reports in the UK & Globally, depict massively long lines of folks waiting for food distribution and charity locations as well as commercial stores. Sadly, folks are standing in hour(s) long lines to cast ballots. In some urban areas, parks and communal spaces are locked off because communities are not able to acceptable use the area while being socially distant.

All these cases are important to the fabric of society. We need to continue to sustain ourselves with healthy foods, participate in civic life & commune with our natural environments.

It seems a central problem is unsafe queuing. Many cars and people in long lines increases stress levels. Waiting in lines in in-climate weather or for many hours on ones feet may deteriorate a persons state of mind as well as increase risks of COVID transmission.

Technology should be used to help communities better utilise public spaces to reduce over crowding & help citizens. In many urban centres, people do not have access to gardens or open spaces. Helping communities to use appropriately use public spaces like parks supports people's mental health. Additionally, 'healthy queues' application can flex park usage as government guidance evolves.

What It Does:

We identified THREE key types of lines requiring improved behaviour. Our submission focussed on Public Spaces Queues. This just one type of line. We chose to focus on this type rather voting and shopping lines as it was simpler to prototype given our team make-up.

When local members of the community want to use a small local park they can got to health.queues app. Users simply sign-up using their mobile number. Next, the user indicates the park the they want to visit.

The system will let users know when it a good time to head to the park. This keeps number of people in the park to a manageable level & helps community members to maintain socially distance.

If the park is too full with citizen, the system will let users know and suggest they wait a bit longer to visit the park.

After sometime, the system will contact the citizen to check if they have left the park. The user can responds via SMS to let the system know that they have left the park. The system will then let the next person know that its fine to head to the park since a new space has opened.

How we Designed & Built It:

Step 1: Formed team & conducted several problem discovery sessions. During several brainstorm sessions, we identified two key features we would like to build. The first was the idea of virtual line. The second was the ability to collect a shopping list from others for a person joining a virtual line. This second feature improves behaviour since one person could shop on behalf of others. This was an appealing feature and will be incorporated into the future 'Shopping' queue features.

Step 2: Identify solution boundaries & Options. TODO

Step 3: Designed User Journeys & Mock-ups for Shopping lines in order to better understand key constraints. TODO

Step 4: Discussed and decided to focus on the most atomic function which were common for any line time.

Step 5: Identify Technology Components

Step 6: Developed a Prototype of the 'Parks' line type since this has the least level of complexity.

Challenges We Ran Into:

Timezone & Geographic Challenges - TODO

Scope of problem area - TODO

Evolving situation in different parts of the world witnessed by our team members- TODO

What We Learned

TODO

What's Next for this Project:

  1. Extend to allow authentication via phone number
  2. Extend with integration to whatsapp.
  3. Incorporate contract tracing features to enhance the systems ability to optimise park utilisation in realtime.
  4. Extend with radar.io to allow users to queue for lines which are nearby.
  5. Extend to present nearby parks.
  6. Extend to allow user to identify preferred parks in their area.
  7. Extend to encourage users to stagger park arrivals in order to distribute usage.
  8. Extend features for Food Shopping lines.
  9. Extend features for voting lines.
  10. Trust less or ephemeral queuing
  11. Add full voice facility to increase accessibility
  12. Localization
  13. Enable community driven crowd sourced adoption model to enable citizen to spawn tool take-up and usage without the mandated sponsorship of governments or store owners.
  14. Community (traffic controllers)
  15. Enhanced privacy and security
  16. Shop owner on-boarding
  17. Local Government on-boarding
  18. Local Government monitoring and reporting

Tools and Technologies Used:

TODO

  • Contribution
  • Completion
  • Design, UI and UX
  • Technology
  • Originality

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