In the last few months, everyone's life has been taken over by one main thing, COVID-19. We've all spent nearly three months in lockdown and now that things are slowly opening up, the urge to go out, be free and meet people has increased significantly for many of us. However, we realize that it is still necessary to take precautions, keep our distance, and limit our contact with other people. Recognizing the ease with which one may get carried away, we have built a mobile app that helps you stay safe and keep your distance!
What it does
Our android app solves two main problems. Firstly, it helps maintain social distance between individuals who use the app. It can measure the distance between two individuals and provides an alert whenever you are too close. Thus, it helps reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19. Secondly, it identifies nearby stores and public buildings and gives you information such as the number of people in the store, the maximum people who can be in the store safely as well as when the building or store was last sanitized. This allows people to make informed decisions on whether going to a building is safe or too risky and hence can reduce the possibility of the spread of COVID-19.
How we built it
Our app was built on Android Studio. We wrote the code in Java and integrated Google's maps and places APIs to provide the location and building information capability to the app.
Challenges we ran into
There were several challenges we ran into through this journey. The first major hurdle we faced was that no one on the team knew how to build mobile apps and so we had to learn how to use Android Studio from scratch. This definitely slowed down our process and made every step much harder than it would have been if we were familiar with the environment. In addition, one of our biggest challenges was trying to work with the database. We faced significant challenges trying to prevent duplicates from being added to the database as well as trying to query information from it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Overall, we are very proud of the app we have built, especially considering we knew nothing about the platform we built it on when we started. Specifically, we believe that the detection of whether the social distancing rules are being violated is something we are proud of as we had to consider several different methods before finally getting one that truly works and we believe that it would be something very useful in the current world.
What we learned
Apart from learning a new platform, a new language, and how to work with some APIs, one of the biggest learnings from this project was how to appropriately use and learn from the vast resources on the internet. Since we were working with Android Studio for the first time, we looked for several different tutorials and documentation online, and initially, there was a lot of time wasted because we were not able to find the information we wanted. However, as time progressed, we learned from our mistakes and became better at optimizing our searches.
What's next for Keep Your Distance!!
Currently, the app only provides the number of people in a store and that helps one decide whether it is safe to enter or not. In the future, we plan to implement this for each aisle of the store and generate a map that shows where people are around you so that you can make more informed decisions on where to go