We were inspired to create HomeSafe after realizing that one of the easiest and most common safety practices—messaging a friend/family member when one arrives at a location safely—is often not completed because they forget to text.
What it does
HomeSafe uses geofencing and an SMS API to automate sending a text message to preselected recipients when the user arrives/leaves a predetermined location. The user is able to customize the feature with a personalized message and restrictions on the time/date/frequency of when the feature is active. The user creates these settings beforehand so that there is no need for them to remember to text in the moment—and no chance of worrying their loved ones. We envisioned our app being used by children who commute to and from school without their parents and groups of friends going home after an event.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
As mentioned above, we had no coding experience prior to this competition. As such, we found ourselves looking at some pretty complex blocks of code with no idea how to implement them or why they made sense. We had to take a step back and think about our own strengths as a team in order for HomeSafe to be actualized.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We put careful thought into how we want our HomeSafe to look, putting together a design stylesheet for scalability and good design practice. We spent a lot of time looking through the apps we use daily to learn about intuitive designs, structures, and icons.
What we learned
We learned a lot on the technical side from our research, from what the different mobile app development languages are to how an API works. We also learned how to construct rapid prototypes on Figma that we can use to share our vision of our app easily. This is incredibly useful for future mockups for app ideas we want to pitch—we can receive real-time feedback as if the app exists, rather than as a concept in our head!
What's next for HomeSafe
Since we already began researching the necessary skills and components needed to build out HomeSafe, we are even more incentivized to continue this project after Athenahacks. We hope to actually develop the app in the near future with mentorship and guidance from our peers and online resources!