According to the WHO, 35% of all women will experience either intimate partner or non-partner violence. Many women can feel unsafe when catcalled, especially when alone. We wanted to make an app that will help women feel safer and more in control of their agency when in public. Giving women the chance to be themselves in public, free from harassment, will increase mental health and allow women to live to their full potential.
What it does
The app tracks the location of the user as they walk outside. If the user is catcalled or experiences any other form of harassment, they can immediately put a pin on the map for the location at which the harassment occurred. If the user is in an unsafe location, they can also record the incident later by inputting an address. As more users send locations, areas of high catcalling will be apparent. The app will warn users if they are entering a "danger zone" and offer options to reroute them. There is also functionality to allow trusted people to receive alerts via text and location pins and track the user as they walk to their destination.
How we built it
First we had to make sure we could all work on the Android Studio by creating a github repository for our app. This meant some members of the group had to be taught it as quickly as possible.Then we implemented a hamburger navigation menu which meant learning how to use fragments. After creating each fragment, we decided which tools we could import from Google's play services such as Google's location services and Maps API. After we successfully wrote the code for the sections of our app that required fragments, we set up our project on Google's developer site to sync it with Maps and so we could set up a Firebase database. After that it was simply a matter of putting all the pieces together and making sure we merged our git pushes carefully as to ensure no one overwrote someone else's valuable code.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into many problems while working with Android Studio. Due to our time constraints, we found that we wouldn't have enough time to fully flesh out all the UI/UX we had planned. We decided to split our project into two parts. The majority of the UI/UX would be demonstrated in Proto.io. The technical capabilities that made our device unique could not be modeled in Proto.io, so we focused on using Android Studio to create that aspect of our app.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that we could properly implement all the APIs for our app. We are also very happy to have a working tech demo alongside our prototype, which shows both the functionality and the design ideas for our app.
What we learned
We all learned a lot more about Android Studio. We also learned more about UI/UX and the specifications we have to pay attention to create an effective prototype. We also learned a lot about how women's health can be impacted in ways we never considered. This was an eye opening experience because each of us decided to go to a different initial session, and we brought together all that we learned from the speakers. Participating in the HealthTech Hackathon reminded us that healthcare has a long way to go and there is always a place for us to find solutions.
What's next for Harassmap
We would first like to add the functionality we demonstrated in Proto.io to our full program. Our next goal is to integrate our navigation with Google Maps directions API so power our SafeWalk feature. We would like to equate high amounts of harassment with high amounts of traffic to force the algorithm to find a safer path. Finally, we would like to connect this app with local authorities so repeat offenders can be brought to justice or certain areas can be better patrolled.