Due to the increased concern about on-campus safety, we wanted to create a project that allowed students to remain safer.

What it does

We built a product that allows users to signal to their friends when they feel unsafe. During times of distress, the user presses a button that automatically messages their top Facebook friends. This also sends them the user's location. At other times when there may be a crisis, the user can press a button to notify their Facebook friends regarding their safety.

How we built it

We used an Arduino with a Zentri OS Wifi shield to trigger the button. We used the Android app to authenticate the user and collect their data. Last, we used the Facebook Messenger bot to communicate the message to friends.

Challenges we ran into

HARDWARE! The wifi shield was manufactured by a 3rd party, so it was very difficult to get it to work. The API that allowed for its use was shut down. We then tried to switch to the Intel Edison, but that would not connect to the Rice wifi or a personal hotspot. We then came back to the wifi shield.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The Messenger Bot and its API that connects everything. Also, we are proud of being able to access the Facebook Graph API correctly through the Android app.

What we learned

Work with more reliable hardware.

What's next for iAlert

We hope that, in the future, we can connect our hardware to a cellular network to get a more accurate location. Additionally, we see the potential to integrate our product into existing Facebook features such as safety checks.

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